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Full text of "Youth and truth, by W. A. Harper ..."

YOUTH 

AND 

TRUTH 

WAHARPER 



YOUTH AND 
TRUTH 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



https://archive.org/details/youthandtruthbywOOharp 



Gbe practical GbrfetlanttB Series 



YOUTH AND 
TRUTH 

BY 

W. A. HARPER 

PRESIDENT OF ELON COLLEGE 
EL ON COLLEGE, NORTH CAROLINA 




THE CENTURY CO. 
New York London 



Copyright, 1927, by 
The Century Co. 



PRINTED IN U. S. A. 



TO 

MY STUDENTS IN ELON COLLEGE 

FOR TWENTY-TWO YEARS 
A FOUNTAIN UNFAILING OF INSPIRATION 
AND OF 
ANXIOUS JOY 



FOREWORD 



Dr. Robert E. Speer is quoted as say- 
ing: "We do not need a youth movement. 
What we need is a truth movement." 

There are evidences, however, in practi- 
cally all lands of what may be called a 
Youth Movement. This movement has par- 
ticularly asserted itself in the colleges be- 
cause designing agitators have secured ac- 
cess to student groups. There does not 
appear to be a Youth Movement as a spon- 
taneous uprising of the world's young life. 
The manifestoes, strikes, and other demon- 
strations of unrest common to college cam- 
puses these latter days can be easily traced 
to "experts," "spell-binders," and "pro- 
tagonists" of special causes, some of them 
on faculties and some outside, who have 
learned that the best opening to exploit 
their theories and to propagate their pet 
[vii] 



Foreword 



schemes is found in the field of student life. 

Dr. Henry H. Sweets is authority for 
saying, "On every hand the strategy of in- 
tellectual leadership is recognized and oft- 
times adroitly employed." 

The point of view taken in this discus- 
sion is that the youth of the world should 
be encouraged in the sincere desire to 
achieve its highest aspirations, and that its 
enthusiasm and energy should not be ex- 
ploited by the sinister methods of propa- 
ganda in the interest even of the Kingdom 
of God, but appealed to, motivated, and so 
eventually activated on behalf of the King- 
dom of God, because of the irresistible ap- 
peal which the idealism of this Kingdom in- 
evitably makes to the exuberant spirit of 
youth. 

The ready response with which the Buch- 
man Evangelistic Movement has met on the 
part of college and university students is 
evidence of the vital concern of young life 
for things spiritual. Buchmanism is a mys- 
tical approach to the Christian life. We do 
[viii] 



Foreword 



not have to indorse its Freudian concep- 
tion of sin nor approve all its methods in 
order to appreciate its promise for the re- 
ligious life and aspiration of the world. 
The youth who are its adherents have 
sensed a satisfying and an abiding some- 
thing in the Christian faith based on ex- 
perience. They have perhaps magnified it 
to the beclouding of other items of our re- 
ligion, but we should certainly rejoice that 
in this "jazz age" youth has discerned this 
abiding, this mystic quality of the spirit- 
ual world. Experience witnesses that this 
spiritual world is certainly as real and far 
more vital in human progress than the ma- 
terial world which greets our physical 
senses. The youth of the modern age is con- 
vinced, if the Buchman Movement has any 
meaning for us, that spiritual as well as 
material things have lessons to teach us in 
the discovery of the ultimate significances 
of being. The suppression of this sincere 
desire of young life to know and experience 
God may result in disaster for the sup- 
fix] 



Foreword 



pressed and for the suppressors. Sympa- 
thetic guidance and cooperative effort to 
extract the good from the movement will 
yield a far more acceptable result. We 
must not forget that John Wesley was a 
young mystic in his day. We should, how- 
ever, lead the young Buchmanites to see 
that Jesus not only stands at the heart's 
door and knocks for admittance in a gen- 
uine mystical experience, but that He also 
stands in the crowd at the foot of this per- 
sonal and spiritual Mount of Transfigura- 
tion and beckons us to come down and help 
Him in His efforts at social betterment. 
Christianity, we must convince youth, 
high-souled, devout, mystic youth, is a per- 
sonal experience and a social passion. 

The youth of the world in this day as in 
every other day is interested in the pursuit 
of truth. The widespread intelligence of 
young life to-day accentuates this disposi- 
tion, but has no more created it than it has 
created the law of relativity. The whole 
tendency of the modern mind is to seek for 

M 



Foreword 



unity in truth and through truth. The 
modern world cannot be conceived of as 
pluralistic. The youth of the world is 
therefore seeking for unity and truth, and 
in this quest every encouragement should 
be given. Youth has the inalienable right 
to expect such sympathetic encouragement 
and should be accorded it without stint or 
misgiving. 

It must, however, be willingly recognized 
that neither age nor youth alone can dis- 
cover truth. As unity is the fundamental 
concept of truth, so unity of life and not 
cleavage is the fundamental condition for 
the discovery of truth. Age needs the en- 
ergy, the exuberance, the enthusiasm of 
youth. Youth needs the experience of age. 
It also needs its ideals introduced into con- 
duct as purposive controls. The tendency 
in many parts of the world, therefore, to 
make a chasm between age and youth and 
to array them one against the other, is not 
in any sense to be approved and can only 
produce harmful and mischievous results. 

M 



Foreword 



The youth of our time is deeply reli- 
gious. Youth reads, thinks, and purpose- 
fully acts in terms of religious ideals and 
concepts. That is why our age concentrates 
its attention to so large an extent on youth 
and religion and the problems of the reli- 
gious life. The engrossing pursuit of the 
human spirit in our day is undoubtedly for 
unity, and it is certain that unity must 
include every interest and concern that 
touches the heart and life of man. This ne- 
cessitates that religion be studied and that 
life be thought of in its terms. 

But there is a deeper reason than this 
for our consideration of it. For religion is 
not only an interest or concern of major 
importance, but it is itself the synthesizing 
and unifying principle for all the interests 
of life. Modern psychology has rendered 
no greater service to our understanding of 
man than its explosion of the traditional 
contention that we are possessed of a reli- 
gious instinct. We are permeatively reli- 
gious rather, for religion rests on all the 

m 



Foreword 



instincts. It is therefore impossible to be, 
and not to be religious in some degree. Re- 
ligion thus is shown to be an inherent qual- 
ity of every act, and not extraneous. 

Of this we may be sure ; the future rests 
with our youth as the actors on life's stage 
in cooperation with their elders as the 
stage-directors. That our youth is seeking 
so earnestly, so passionately for ultimate 
reality, for the unity of truth, is an en- 
couraging and inspiring situation; and 
that it is willing and open-minded and ex- 
pectant as to the contribution religion can 
make to the attainment of its goal presages 
great things for human progress. 

The spirit of a genuine accommodation of 
viewpoints, aspirations, and methods, is 
the hope of the forward march and ulti- 
mate triumph of the human mind in its 
quest for unity and truth, a triumph to be 
prophetically undertaken by youth and to 
be thoroughly buttressed by age. So shall 
God's truth go marching on. 

W. A. Harper. 

[xiii] 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I The Spirit of Youth .... 3 
II The Expectancy of Youth . . 17 

III Interpreting Christianity to 

Youth 45 

IV Two Life-Principles in Con- 

trast 70 

V Removing Human Limitations 

from the Divine .... 93 

VI Toward the Understanding of 

Jesus 123 

VII The Bible and the Church . 147 

VIII Religious Unity 167 

IX The Place of Law .... 195 

X A Growing Faith 208 



[xv] 



YOUTH AND TRUTH 



AN ACQUITTAL FOR YOUTH 
By Mrs. Madeleine Sweeny Miller 

Oh, tell me not in your elderly way 
That youth is void of soul to-day! 
I have watched too much 
His compassionate touch 
To listen to what you say. 
I have seen Christ stand 
With beneficent hand 
Where youth chose the heroic and true. 
I have seen Him smile when youth paid the 
price 

Of magnificent sacrifice 
For the sake of meeting an old debt due 
To parents who gave when their means were 
few. 

I have seen Christ pray 

As youth fought his way 

Past ghouls that stalked by day. 

I believe in youth 

As the friend of truth. 

He is bold as the knights of old were bold 
To salvage the best that the centuries hold. 
Who can the fact of his faith gainsay? 
He is holy in youth's intrepid way! 

In the International Journal 

of Religious Education. 
Used with permission of the International 
Journal of Religious Education. 



YOUTH AND TRUTH 



CHAPTER I 

THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH 

THE youth of the world to-day exhibits 
the traits which have always char- 
acterized the young of the race, condi- 
tioned and modified by the tendencies and 
circumstances of our modern era. In a 
sense every age is new, and in a sense 
every age is old. The fundamental quali- 
ties of life abide. The superstructure is 
new, and it is the superstructure within 
which we live and move and have our be- 
ing. The youth of our day is charming as 
has been the youth of every day, and it 
is buoyant to express itself and invest its 
talents in a joyous quest for truth and 
unity. The spirit of our youth is com- 
[3] 



Youth and Truth 



pounded out of its engaging charms. 
What are these abiding charms, charms 
not only of our youth, but charms that 
have ever abided in the heart and aspira- 
tion of the world's young life? 

First among these abiding charms of 
youth in all the ages, we should unhesitat- 
ingly place the princely quality of open- 
mindedness. The pioneers in all directions 
and avenues of human endeavor have been 
young. New thought, new inventions, new 
ideals, new adaptations and interpreta- 
tions of the forces that enter into life have 
had their seminary in the heart and soul 
of youth. Youth is willing to consider any 
appeal that can justify itself to good 
judgment. Prejudice is not a native en- 
dowment of the mind of youth. There is 
more hope of a fool than of a man with a 
closed mind. The mind of youth is open, 
friendly, companionable to progressive 
measures. But for the open-mindedness of 
youth, civilization would die of the dry 
rot of custom and convention. But youth 
[4] 



The Spirit of Youth 



can be led into pastures green and by 
waters still, and from them will return to 
its daily tasks fresh and vigorous with 
new life. 

Youth is courageous. Youth rushes into 
hopeless situations with reckless abandon 
and turns defeat into victory. The world's 
wars have all been fought by young 
people. Nothing can daunt the daring 
spirit of youth when duty calls. "Into the 
jaws of death rode the six hundred" — 
all of them youths. What a man of heroic 
courage Jesus was to leave His Kingdom's 
future in the hands of what their con- 
temporaries considered a group of igno- 
rant and unlearned men! But they were 
young! Their courage made them the in- 
vincible missionaries of the Cross and en- 
abled them to withstand ecclesiastical and 
civil authorities in their heroic crusade to 
plant the Christian Church in all parts of 
the known world. 

Youth is confident. A favorite adage of 
youth is, "He can who thinks he can." 
[5] 



Youth and Truth 



There is nothing that ought to be done 
which youth is not sure can be done. The 
confidence of youth sometimes leads to 
tragedies, but these tragedies are to be pre- 
ferred to the ridiculous comedies that arise 
out of the calculating spirit of age. Colum- 
bus was confident he could reach the east 
by sailing west. Columbus failed, but we 
have a new hemisphere nevertheless. Few 
servants of the race have arisen outside 
the ranks of the confident. 

Youth is enthusiastic. Youth becomes 
absorbed in whatever interest it pursues. 
And youth is not ashamed of its enthus- 
iasm. Whole-heartedness for one's cause 
doubly sharpens one's wits. Youth is some- 
times criticized for its devotion to sport 
and athletics. Keep your eye on the youth 
who does not yell at the ball-game. He may 
need a doctor or the sheriff. Enthusiasm is 
the soul-tonic of youth. Enthusiasm wins 
the game of life as well as the game of 
golf. We do not lose our enthusiasm when 
we grow old. We grow old when we lose 
[6] 



The Spirit of Youth 



our enthusiasm. Here is an enthusiast past 
his hundredth year. He appeals to his 
friends as one hundred years young. The 
enthusiasm of youth is a contagion that 
would wondrously bless mankind, should 
it take the form of a perpetual epidemic. 
Whoever has the spirit of youth is young. 
Some are older at sixteen than others at 
sixty. 

Youth has the spirit of service. Energy 
is its middle name. Something to do always 
appeals to youth. During the World War 
youth's favorite expression was, "Come on ! 
Let's go," and when a youth was going 
West, his final word of challenge to those 
left behind, was, "Carry on !" "What shall 
we do?" is the universal query of youth. 
Happy is that civilization which provides 
for its youth noble avenues of service ! The 
Boy Scout Movement grips the boys as 
much by its daily good turn as by its pro- 
gram for the out of doors or by its merit 
badges. The rich young ruler wanted to 
know what he must do. If he had been old, 
[7] 



Youth and Truth 



he would have inquired what creed he 
should accept. Service is a watchword of 
the Christian religion. That is why it ap- 
peals to youth. That is why those who 
faithfully practise it remain always young 
in spirit. 

Youth is consecrated and devoted in its 
attitude toward every enterprise it under- 
takes. Youth can never be content with 
half-way measures. Youth's loyalty has 
never been sucessfully impeached. Trai- 
tors do not arise out of the ranks of youth. 
Lukewarmness disorders its spiritual 
stomach. In this respect youth is like our 
Master, who wished people and churches 
to be either hot or cold. Youth devotes its 
all to its beloved endeavors. When country 
calls, it pays the supreme price of loyalty. 
Youth would rather die than temporize or 
pussyfoot. The equivocal character is 
anathema to youth. The Redeemer of man- 
kind was a young man. The martyrs of the 
race have been young. No sacrifice, no 
suffering, is too great for the consecration 
[8] 



The Spirit of Youth 



of youth devoted to the causes it espouses. 

Youth is faced toward the future. It 
looks toward the rising sun. It is forward- 
looking. It revels in crusades into new 
lands and with new shibboleths on its ban- 
ners. History has for youth no such charm 
as prophecy. The palmists, the fortune- 
tellers, the clairvoyants, we must admit, 
find in youth ready and pliant subjects, 
because youth is inexperienced and san- 
guine. But also, we must admit, the 
prophets of the race have been young ; no, 
not all of them. The constructive prophets 
of the new days in human progress, the 
days marking new eras in social achieve- 
ments, these have come from the ranks of 
youth. The denunciatory prophets, how- 
ever, have represented age. Youth does not 
look back. It looks ahead, and so it gets 
ahead. Youth does not knock. It sees, and 
it follows the gleam of each beckoning 
light. 

Youth is altruistic. It is thoughtful of 
others. It is free from selfishness, though 
[9] 



Youth and Truth 



at times it appears to be self-centered. 
Youth is the time of social aspiration. 
Only altruists care for the society or the 
welfare of others. Adolescence and altru- 
ism are to all intents and purposes syn- 
onymous terms in the vocabulary of life. 
When the youth dreams, his parents and 
his brethren are always included in the 
vision that stirs his soul. Experience has 
not soured the spirit of youth with disap- 
pointed hopes, and so youth pours out its 
heart's best for others. It does not calcu- 
late. 

Youth is discontent. "Things as they 
are" find small sympathy in the breast of 
youth. Youth is dissatisfied not to make 
changes in the direction of progress. "Woe 
to them that are at ease in Zion," says that 
ancient Book of the Spirit, and youth 
gladly echoes and loud, "Amen and amen." 
Contentment is not far from stagnation. 
The rollicking brook, not the stagnant 
pool, is the joy of youth. Youth does not 
care to fish in mill-ponds, but in mountain 
[10] 



The Spirit of Youth 



streams. Through its dissatisfaction with 
its present, youth in every age has achieved 
the goal of its aspiring dream. 

Youth is optimistic. Youth hopeth all 
things and believe th all things. Youth 
always confidently expects the best of 
every person and of every circumstance. 
It is idealistic. It is reformative. Youth's 
ability to smile in the midst of hardness 
and sorrow melts the frost of disappoint- 
ment into the dew of refreshment. Hope 
springs eternal in the breast of youth. No 
pessimist has achieved any notable service 
for the human race. Pessimists are pests. 
But the optimists have felled the forests 
and built their highways to the populous 
cities of the world. They have tunneled 
under rivers and through mountains. They 
have transformed deserts and swamps into 
gardens of beauty and profit. They have 
lengthened, and brightened, and sweet- 
ened the life of man. 

Youth is restive, particularly so in our 
day, restive under restraint. This restive- 



Youth and Truth 



ness is a fundamental condition of progress 
and advancement for the individual and 
for the social order. When it takes the 
form of violence and crime, it is subversive 
of the best interests of the race. Rebellions 
have always been led by youth. Reforms 
have also always been initiated by it. 
Restiveness under restraint of law in the 
one case and under the restraint of un- 
satisfactory life-customs in the other is 
the respective explanation of each. The 
restive spirit needs direction and guidance. 
Revolutionists and Bolsheviks arise out of 
the soil of restive youth as readily as re- 
formers and prophets of a better day. 
There is reason enough for the restiveness 
of youth to-day. They feel they have been 
duped and betrayed by their trusted lead- 
ers. Our youths went to war to end war. 
They have been sadly disillusioned by the 
developments of the past eight years. They 
have not become cynics. Cynicism is for 
sophisticated age, not for trustful youth. 
The disappointment that has shocked the 
[12] 



The Spirit of Youth 

confidence of youth has made it trebly- 
restive in our day. There is always hope 
when the spirit of youth is restive for just 
and humane and fraternal measures — there 
is hope, provided the restiveness is satisfied 
by ameliorative measures and sanely di- 
rected. 

Our youth is trained and educated. 
Democracy necessitates universal educa- 
tion, and ours is a democratic age. Our 
youth is intelligent. It knows the past. It 
understands the present. It has definite 
convictions as to what it wants the future 
to be. No previous era in history has been 
so blessed with trained and educated youth. 
You cannot fool these intelligent young 
leaders. They cannot and they will not 
blind their eyes to the things they see and 
know. The very intelligence of youth 
should cause the demagogue to cease his 
folly in the legislative chambers of the 
world. Quacks and charlatans and pol- 
troons and the interest-serving politicians 
are as certain to be exposed and deposed as 
[13] 



Youth and Truth 



day follows night, when the well-trained 
youth of this generation assume their sta- 
tions of leadership in life. They have come 
to the Kingdom for this very cause. They 
will consistently and constructively express 
their sense of justice and good-will and 
brotherhood in programs of social recon- 
struction. 

Youth is reverent. Youth responds re- 
luctantly to authority, but most readily 
to sympathetic personality and to love. 
God is to it a loving Personality. Youth 
cannot conceive that long-facedness is es- 
sentially the only evidence we can give 
of genuine spirituality. God for youth is 
present everywhere and interested in all 
the experiences of life. It implores His aid 
in a football game as naturally as for the 
restoration of a sick friend. Our modern 
youth is reverent in its own intimate, care- 
free way. It is not afraid of God. It reveres 
Him as friend and guide and companion. 
This reverence of youth, when rightly 
comprehended, is a most engaging faculty. 
[14] 



The Spirit of Youth 



It is their friendship for God expressed in 
attitude and conduct. For His sake they 
are ready to undertake the marathon race 
of man's moral and spiritual redemption. 

Youth is lovable. When that rich young 
ruler to whom we have already referred 
came to Jesus, it is recorded that our 
Master loved him. Who does not love 
youth? Youth is not perfect, nor is age. 
Youth loves passionately. Those who know 
youth best, love it best. And youth always 
responds to love. More can be accomplished 
by affectionate regard for youth than by 
the precepts and denunciations of an army 
of moral vituperators. When youth errs, 
love can win it back to the paths of whole- 
some living, and only love can. The gospel 
of condemnation as preached by Billy Sun- 
day may startle the sin-soaked adult to a 
realization of his "lost and ruined condi- 
tion." But youth will respond to the gospel 
of love. Whoever responds to love is lov- 
able. Like always responds to like. The 
youth of this age are hungry for an under- 
[15] 



Youth cmd Truth 



standing love, and through such love alone 
will they become the splendid servants of 
humanity their noble characteristics qual- 
ify them to be. 

And finally, no, not finally, but to con- 
clude our list, youth is leadable. It is not 
set in its ways, nor does it indulge ulterior 
motives. It is not radical, though radicals 
have in our day undertaken to exploit 
youth in the interest of their pet schemes. 
Sympathetic leadership is youth's great- 
est need to-day, a leadership imbued with 
the spirit of Jesus, and so able to capital- 
ize the spirit of youth in the challenging 
industry of building the Kingdom of God 
on earth. 



[16] 



CHAPTER II 



THE EXPECTANCY OF YOUTH 

E may and do rightly expect great 



* ▼ things of our youth. For their 
benefit we maintain an educational system 
that is colossal in its magnitude, in a coun- 
try accustomed to gigantic expenditures 
and large-scale production. We have no 
disposition to decrease our annual invest- 
ment in this cause. The latest available 
figures are for 1923-24. Those of succeed- 
ing years will show a steadily mounting 
cost. Yet we pay the bill and are glad, 
such is our expectancy from our youth in 
the coming generation that looks hope- 
fully to it as leader and as builder of a 
better social order. 



The elementary and secondary public 
schools of the United States in that year 
cost us in cash $1,958,528,872. This was 
$16.25 for each inhabitant and $74.96 for 




[17] 



Youth and Truth 



every pupil of the 24,288,808 enrolled. 
An army of 761,308 teachers and admin- 
istrators served in these schools, which had 
buildings and equipment valued at $3,- 
744,780,714. 

During this same year private and 
parochial academies and high schools, 2124 
in number, enrolled 216,572 pupils and 
employed 15,703 officers and teachers, 
whose salaries would perhaps total $14,- 
132J700. 1 There was invested in the plants 
and equipment of these schools $36,766,- 
000, with endowments totaling $61,- 
417,000. 

In this same year we maintained 382 
teachers' colleges and normal schools, in 
which were enrolled in the regular term 
301,599 pupils, taught by 5607 teachers. 
The operating expenses were $48,948,518. 
The buildings and equipment were valued 
at $63,584,867, and there were endowment 
funds of $3,272,696. 

i The U. S. Bureau of Education unfortunately 
does not give the figures. 

[18] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



In our 913 institutions of higher learn- 
ing for that year there were enrolled 726,- 
124 students, taught by 56,279 professors 
and instructors. There was invested in the 
buildings and equipment of these institu- 
tions $480,998,439. Their endowments 
amounted to $814,718,813. These institu- 
tions that year received in gifts for cur- 
rent expenses and endowment a total of 
$81,722,887. The cost of operating these 
institutions was during this year $388,- 
242,587, or $534 per student for educa- 
tional purposes alone. The pupils them- 
selves paid not quite one third of this cost. 

Our total educational expense for the 
year 1923-24 amounted to $2,409,853,- 
077. We had invested in buildings and 
equipment that year $4,851,130,020, and 
in endowment $879,408,504. We employed 
838,897 officers and teachers to conduct 
these various schools, which enrolled in all 
25,533,103 pupils. 

It is safe to say that the people of the 
United States would not invest so tremen- 
[19] 



Youth cmd Truth 



dously in money and human factors for 
education, unless they fully expected com- 
mensurate returns on their investments, 
unless they had high expectations from 
their youth on whose behalf this invest- 
ment is made. Adults regard our young 
life as our greatest asset. They view its 
progressive achievements in the years that 
lie ahead with confident expectancy. 

Youth on their part have particular ex- 
pectations toward which they hopefully 
look as properly coming to them from their 
elders. For example, they feel that they 
have a right to expect sympathy. Sad to 
say, on the part of a certain section of our 
adult life the opposite of sympathy has 
been accorded them. Blistering criticism 
has melted their exuberant and expansive 
aspirations. Complacency with things as 
they are and a general attitude of hostil- 
ity toward changes seem to be the prevail- 
ing characteristics of these critics of our 
young life. They delight in using such 
bantering phrases as "flapper" and 
[20] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



"sheik." They forget that once they too 
were young and filled with life. They are 
averse to acknowledge that they are now 
old and apathetic. In all kindness we say 
to these well-meaning friends, who are so 
disturbed by what they label the excesses 
and degeneracies of youth, that years do 
not make us old, but that the lack of the 
spirit of youth is evidence always of senil- 
ity. We wish for them the happy privilege 
and experience of a rebirth into the buoy- 
ant, hopeful, and prophetic spirit of young 
life. And we freely and whole-heartedly 
reiterate that youth has the right to ex- 
pect an attitude of sympathetic coopera- 
tion from its elders. 

In the second place, youth has the right 
to expect from its elders a skilful and in- 
telligent guidance into life's unfolding ex- 
periences. It has been said that experience 
is the best schoolmaster, but that its tui- 
tion rate is exceedingly high. It is the 
privilege of adult life to help youth re- 
duce the tuition cost of this highly ex- 
[21] 



Youth and Truth 



pensive schoolmaster. We know it is said 
by some that young life resents the sug- 
gestions of age, even though the sugges- 
tions are made with the best of intentions. 
In most cases, however, it will be found 
that the resentment grows out of a tactless 
approach to the problem involved or to an 
unfortunate past experience where this 
lack of tact was displayed. It is seriously 
to be doubted if youth entertains an at- 
titude of suspicion with reference to the 
very laudable desire on the part of parents, 
teachers, ministers, and other adult per- 
sons in their efforts to guide it into whole- 
some experiences. On this point there must 
be complete and harmonious cooperation 
between young life and adult life. Young 
people are keen to sense and appreciate 
the advantage which will inure to their 
benefit by availing themselves of the valu- 
able advice of those whose experience has 
qualified them to be guide-posts, so to 
speak, along the highway of life. And at 
the same time adults who have had these 
[22] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



experiences should come to the willing 
recognition of the fact that life does not 
exactly correspond in any two situations, 
and consequently they should not insist on 
an exact reproduction in the lives of youth 
of their own experiences. This would be to 
make life static rather than dynamic. 
There is need for the spirit of give and 
take at this crucial point in the relation- 
ships between youths and adults. Youth 
needs and welcomes the guidance of age. 
Age should be glad without stint to vouch- 
safe to young life all the benefits of its own 
experience. 

A third legitimate expectancy of youth 
is to be found in the realm of personal as- 
sociation. It is recognized now that every 
experience of life is educative and that we 
learn more in the way of character control 
from association with persons of character 
than we do from text-books and the formal 
processes of what we have been pleased to 
call education. We know that knowledge, 
for example, arises out of experience when 
[23] 



Youth cmd Truth 



experience becomes charged with meaning. 
A teacher has opportunity in educative 
processes to take advantage of this expe- 
rience charged with meaning which we call 
knowledge, and to enrich it in terms of the 
best experiences of the race, and likewise 
in terms of the uplifting ideals of the race, 
and to return it to the experience of the 
learner as a purposive control for conduct. 
We thus say that learning begins in ex- 
perience and returns to experience, which 
means that we are reasoning in a circle, 
but it is not a vicious circle; it is rather 
an ascending spiral. In this teaching proc- 
ess, however, we must never forget that 
the most effective teaching after all is the 
teaching of example and not the teaching 
of precept. The wholesome uplifting in- 
fluence of association with personalities of 
high character is the most fruitful and 
efficacious teaching we can have. 

The expectancies which we have so far 
presented as properly to be hoped for on 
the part of youth apply to youth in gen- 
[24] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



eral, but there are certain expectancies 
which apply in a special way to college 
youth, a number happily on the increase 
and from whom we must look very largely 
for our future leadership. First among the 
special benefits to be derived from the ex- 
perience of college life is the acquisition of 
a correct method of work, and the spirit to 
undertake such work. The valuable service 
of a college curriculum is not the acquisi- 
tion of knowledge, but the acquirement of 
habits of living and of methods of ap- 
proach to the solution of the problems of 
life. College youth should become thor- 
oughly imbued with the historical and 
scientific methods. It requires both of them 
to make a hopeful attack on any problem 
of life. There should be added to these two 
methods what we may call the spiritual 
method. With these three approaches con- 
scientiously applied to the situations or 
problems of life, correct solutions may be 
confidently expected. There are but three 
constant forces in life. They are the uni- 
[25] 



Youth and Truth 



verse, man, and God. The scientific method 
is especially applicable in understanding 
the universe and the manner in which we 
can utilize it in meeting the problems and 
perplexities of life. The historical method 
is particularly applicable to the second of 
these constants, man. But we dare not ex- 
clude God in any undertaking. The spirit- 
ual method of prayer and meditation is 
fundamental to a proper diagnosis in any 
life situation and to the application of 
remedies to meet it. Unless colleges are 
able to imbue their students with the 
principles of these three methods, they will 
have failed in a major purpose. 

But it is useless to know how to attack 
problems unless we have the disposition to 
work for their solution. A college educa- 
tion should thrill youth with the aspira- 
tion to take up the world's burdens and to 
expend every energy of mind and heart 
and soul upon their solution. Our youths 
do not go to college to loaf, or, if they do, 
they are soon eliminated. Those who re- 
[26] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



main in college are alert to learn how to 
do more work and better work with the 
same expenditure of energy. A college edu- 
cation should increase efficiency in every 
line. College men and women are not par- 
asites. They do not conceive that the world 
owes them anything. They are happily 
actuated by the altruistic motive in rec- 
ognizing that their best is none too good 
to devote to the service of their brother 
men. Colleges which fail to motivate their 
graduates in such wholesome fashion have 
but added to the cleavages that now rend 
life into competing and jealous factions. 
What the heart of the world cries out to 
receive is a generation of trained college 
men and women ready and anxious to 
work, not for themselves primarily, but for 
humanity; not highbrows, but workers, 
hard, steady, diligent workers. No genera- 
tion of college students ever surpassed that 
of our day in this high regard. 

A second special contribution which 
youth has the right to expect from coi- 
fs?] 



Youth and Truth 



lege days is an acquaintance with the 
philosophies which have influenced men in 
their living and a proper evaluation of 
these philosophies, basing their evaluation 
of them on their historic results and on 
what they may be expected to achieve in 
the character of those who embrace them. 
A very keen student of philosophy and 
life, the late President William D. Hyde 
of Bowdoin College, summarized the philos- 
ophies of the world under five heads : Epi- 
cureanism, Stoicism, subordination of 
lower to higher, a sense of proportion, and 
love. I am inclined to agree with President 
Hyde that for practical purposes these 
five philosophies do summate the wisdom 
and experience of the race as it relates it- 
self to a working principle of life. 

The fundamental idea underlying Epi- 
cureanism is the pursuit of pleasure. Ex- 
perience has shown it to be evanescent, and 
yet the pleasure attitude toward life con- 
tinues to exert a withering influence over 
a vast host. The Stoic philosophy goes to 
[28] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



the opposite extreme in its attitude toward 
the pleasures of life. Whereas Epicurean- 
ism embraces them as the chief attractions 
and blessings of life, Stoicism steels itself 
against them and assumes an attitude of 
indifference toward them. It has always 
produced a strong type of character, but 
there has been a lamentable lack of buoy- 
ancy, richness, and joyousness of expres- 
sion in the lives of those who have em- 
braced it. The subordination of what is 
known as the lower appeals and interests 
of life to what has been called the higher is 
associated with the great philosopher 
Plato. This philosophy has never shown the 
proper appreciation for all the qualities 
and endowments of the human life. We 
cannot but feel that a wise and beneficent 
Creator would have been guilty of folly 
had He endowed His creatures with certain 
powers that needed to be subordinated to 
other powers. Slavery of human character- 
istics is as unchristian as slavery of per- 
sons. When we meet those who are dedi- 
[29] 



Youth cmd Truth 



cated to this Platonic philosophy of life, 
we cannot but be convinced that theirs 
is not a well-rounded life. Something is 
lacking, and that something is the rel- 
ative development of what is conceived 
as lower in the personality and the func- 
tions of life. The philosophy of the sense 
of proportion is associated with the great 
Aristotle, one of the master minds and 
spirits of human history. He felt in- 
stinctively the weakness of the Platonic 
subordination of lower to higher and set 
about the remedying of this deficiency by 
advocating the development and expres- 
sion of all the powers and functions of life 
in proper proportion to each other. The 
weakness of his philosophy is its mechan- 
ism, the lack of standards for judging, and 
the absence of the proper dynamic to make 
effective the proposed proportionate de- 
velopment of life's powers and functions. 

The fifth philosophy of life, according 
to President Hyde, is based on love as a 
unifying and dynamic force, calling out 
[30] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



all the latent powers and functions of life 
to full and happy fruition and expression, 
and becoming the great dynamic, underly- 
ing every thought, every act, every associa- 
tion. Love makes use of every endowment 
of man's nature. As Jesus taught it and 
lived it, it makes use of pleasure and of 
suffering; it subordinates higher to lower 
and lower to higher as the occasion de- 
mands; it supplies a motive for the sense 
of proportion in life, and elicits the very 
best that is potential in the human mind 
and heart, whether it be in the realm of the 
emotions or the intellect or the will. Love 
as Jesus taught it also appreciates the 
universe as the means of improving and 
upbuilding human life ; it ennobles man as 
the offspring of Deity, as endowed with 
the qualities of Deity by his own spiritual 
nature, and as obligated to express those 
divine qualities in human relationships; 
and it relates man himself and his use of 
the universe directly to the will, plan, and 
purpose of God as the world's Creator and 
[31] 



Youth cmd Truth 



man's spiritual Father. It is apparent then 
that the philosophy of life as J esus taught 
it as based on love, includes all that is good 
and abiding in the other philosophies by 
which men have lived, remedies all their 
weaknesses and defects, and dynamizes 
every experience and situation of life with 
the highest motive which the human mind 
has been able to conceive, the motive of 
love, unselfish love, consecrated love, divine 
love. 

It was this exalted philosophy of life 
which so gripped the Apostle Paul in his 
wonderful portrayal of its characteristics 
in that sublime passage, the paean of love, 
which he addressed to the Corinthian 
church. Paul says everything is worthless 
if love is lacking. We cannot too often re- 
cur to his own matchless words : "Though 
I speak with the tongues of men and of 
angels, and have not love, I am become as 
clanging brass, or a clashing cymbal. And 
though I have the gift of prophecy and 
understand all mysteries, and all knowl- 
[32] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



edge ; and though I have all faith, so that 
I could remove mountains, and have not 
love, I am nothing. And though I sell all 
my goods to feed the poor, and though I 
give my body to be burned, and have not 
love, it profiteth me nothing." 

And then in contemplation of the master 
passion of love that possessed him and 
nerved him to undertake the great labors 
of his missionary life, Paul continues his 
praise of love by drawing for us a portrait 
of Jesus who in His life embodied the spirit 
of love. Carefully note what he says in 
praise of love and of the Man who em- 
bodied it. It suffereth long, and is kind, 
he says. It envieth not ; it makes no parade 
of itself ; is not puffed up, is not rude, nor 
selfish; it does not have to be summoned 
to the aid of any one, but is alert always 
for opportunities to serve ; bears no malice, 
never rejoices over wrong-doing; knows 
how to be silent; it is trustful, hopeful, 
patient, and enduring, never fails. And 
then, concluding, he speaks of it as abiding 
[33] 



Youth and Truth 



forever in that oft-quoted verse: "Now 
abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; 
but the greatest of these is love." 

This philosophy of love, in the life of 
man, is like the melody in a gem of music. 
The same melody reappears with each 
stanza, but the words and sentiment are 
changed. So it is with the philosophy of 
love. It must have objectives, toward which 
its energies may be directed, and in the 
realization of which its ideals may be ex- 
pressed. Love is the all-satisfying philos- 
ophy of life, expressing itself in three 
great objectives. The first of these is work, 
to which we have already alluded. Love 
never tires of serving. It is never happier 
than when it is engaged in programs of 
uplift and service. It not only motivates, 
it activates life. The second of these ob- 
jectives is concerned with leisure. In our 
busy vocational efforts we say we are en- 
gaged in work, and work has its influence 
on character while it brings us a means of 
support. In our leisure time we do not look 
[34] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



for gain, but for the means of culture and 
agreeable and uplifting association with 
our fellows. It has been said that play re- 
veals character even more than work, be- 
cause oftentimes by necessity we are forced 
to work on projects which otherwise we 
would not choose ; but in our playtime what 
we innately are expresses itself in our 
activities. We have not fully appreciated 
the strategic importance, to the life and 
character of the individual and of the race, 
of our leisure hours. In college our leisure 
time will make or mar our career, and the 
same is true of life. The philosophy of the 
true life, the philosophy of love, must 
reign supremely in our free time, or our 
character must inevitably degenerate. The 
third great objective is the saving influence 
for the other two. It consecrates work, and 
it elevates leisure. It is worship. When love 
is in league with life through work and 
play, expressing itself always in proper 
attitudes toward God, we have a whole- 
some adjustment of powers and functions 
[35] 



Youth cmd Truth 



which will mean not only personal satis- 
faction and a spirit of helpfulness toward 
others, but will at the same time qualify 
us for the realization of the eternal values 
of the human soul. So it is that in this 
third objective of love, worship, we find the 
perfection of all that is great, good, lovely, 
and true in human experience. In this 
happy investment and integration of hu- 
man energy, based on love, expressing it- 
self in work, play, and worship, we have 
that unity for which the youthful heart 
of every age has ever sought and striven. 
The major passion in the mental and 
spiritual realm of youth's experience in 
our day is the quest for unity. It is found 
enshrined in the philosophy of love which 
Jesus taught, and which includes all the 
strengths of the other philosophies which 
have actuated men in their living and at 
the same time removes all their weak- 
nesses, being itself a truly synthetic phi- 
losophy. 

[36] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



A further expectancy of youth from 
the colleges is to be found in the realm 
of vocational guidance. The approach 
here must be different from that of the 
professional visitant to the college cam- 
pus. Representatives of big business and 
of other special fields of life service have 
been accustomed for years to visit college 
campuses and to confer with the most 
promising students with the purpose in 
mind to convince them that they should 
enter upon some particular vocation, for 
which the respective visitor is sponsor. 

This method has small place, if any, 
on the campus of a modern college. In 
such an institution, vocational guidance 
should rather take the form of discover- 
ing the aptitude and life purpose of each 
particular student, and then of aiding 
that student in selecting courses of study 
preparing him for the particular calling 
for which his aptitude and his disposition 
to serve especially qualify him. Conse- 
[37] 



Youth and Truth 



quently, it will be disastrous for the col- 
leges if they should leave the matter of 
vocational guidance of their students to 
outside agencies. 

We have in our colleges too often been 
content to bring in outside speakers to 
promote some particular vocation, and 
then to leave the matter of choosing their 
life-work to the students in the quiet of 
prayer and the searching of their hearts. 
We have sometimes gone beyond this and 
arranged for interviews of students with 
presidents, deans, college pastors, or fac- 
ulty advisers busy in other things, in what 
we have been pleased to call "heart-to- 
heart talks." We should go further than 
this, and put this matter of vocational 
guidance on a "head-to-head" basis. The 
selection of a life-work should not be made 
on the strength of an emotional appeal, 
but rather on reasoned consideration of 
a student's innate ability and his personal 
taste as indicated by his character traits; 
but there must also be included in this 
[38] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



"head-to-head" approach to this problem 
the synthesizing force of religion, which 
includes the time-honored "heart-to- 
heart" element. Both emotion and intellect 
should influence the will's decision in this 
most important step. 

There is no doubt that Thomas A. 
Edison is right in his prophetic note as 
to the future. He is quoted as saying that 
the nineteenth century was concerned with 
material, mechanical, and natural forces, 
but that the present century must give 
itself to the consideration and develop- 
ment of the human factors of civilization. 
Vocational guidance, therefore, must loom 
up large on the horizon in the days ahead 
of us, and those colleges will be wise in 
their day which incorporate in their pro- 
gram definite facilities for aiding their 
students in the choice of a proper life- 
work under the uplifting and inspiring in- 
fluences of religion. Nor can our colleges 
be satisfied merely to motivate those whose 
vocational choices they shall be instru- 
[39] 



Youth and Truth 



mental in guiding in such a way that they 
shall live as Christians in their callings or 
businesses. Rather must these colleges 
send these young crusaders forth into life 
inspired with the determination to make 
whatever vocation they shall enter itself 
completely Christian in its aims, methods, 
products, and consequences. So again it 
is evident that vocational guidance cannot 
be safely separated from religion, nor per- 
formed hopefully by those unversed in re- 
ligious technique and experience. 

There will be required for the proper 
conduct of vocational guidance work reg- 
ular orientation courses in each year of 
the college curriculum, not necessarily 
separate and distinct from courses now of- 
fered but rather giving a new emphasis 
and application to courses already offered. 
There will be a difference necessarily in 
the orientation courses offered by denom- 
inational colleges and those offered by 
other types of college. In the denomina- 
tional colleges, for example, in the fresh- 
[40] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



man year the survey course in the Bible so 
often given in such institutions would ap- 
pear to be especially adaptable to this 
purpose. In other types of institution in 
the freshman year, because of the prin- 
ciple of "the separation of church and 
state," the orientation course will perhaps 
take the form of a study of the institutions 
and organizations of the social order. This 
is being done in many such colleges now 
and in at least one denominational college, 
the Friends' College at Whittier, Cali- 
fornia. In the sophomore year for both 
types of institution the fundamental 
course in general psychology offers a rare 
opportunity to orientate the mind in the 
modern world. Likewise in both types of 
colleges for juniors the course in general 
sociology, with special reference to the 
personal and institutional cleavages of 
our day, offers a real orientation oppor- 
tunity. In denominational colleges the 
seniors should no doubt approach this 
problem from the standpoint of the phi- 
[41] 



Youth cmd Truth 



losophy of religion, while institutions of 
other types would avail themselves of the 
course in philosophy. It is doubtful if 
these orientation courses should be re- 
quired beyond the freshman year, though 
the advisers should encourage their elec- 
tion. The Sunday-school and daily chapel 
and Sunday preaching services with lec- 
tures by faculty and invited leaders of 
modern thought and Christian attitude 
should be made to serve these same ends. 

From the standpoint of organization, 
in order to make this vocational guidance 
work effective, modern colleges will re- 
quire a dean of personnel, a clinical psy- 
chologist, and an expert in vocational 
guidance. These officers should teach 
courses in the college for academic credit 
and should work in harmony with the en- 
tire staff of the institution, but particu- 
larly with the registrar, the deans, the 
president, the college health officers, and 
the Faculty and Student Advisers where 
they are employed. No more fruitful 
[42] 



The Expectancy of Youth 



source of real assistance in preparation 
for the great work of life now offers itself 
to our colleges than is found here, and 
students in colleges expectantly look to 
their several institutions for assistance in 
this most important work. 

The expectancy of youth, both objective 
and subjective, is occasion of deep rejoic- 
ing. We are blessed in these expectancies. 
Cursed is he who expecteth nothing. It is 
a hopeful sign that youth looks forward 
with confident expectancy toward the fu- 
ture, and that age joins it in highest 
expectation. But it remains to remind both 
youth and age that character is best 
expressed, not through receiving, but 
through giving. The human spirit grows 
and thrives not on what it gets, but on 
what it bestows. In that matchless chap- 
ter addressed to the Corinthian church, 
from which we have already quoted at 
length, the old translators did not use 
"love" to symbolize and connote the great- 
est spiritual gift. They used "charity." So 
[43] 



t 



Youth and Truth 



we read in the King James version not of 
"love" as the be-all and end-all of Chris- 
tian experience, but of "charity," and we 
find Paul concluding his praise of this 
greatest Christian grace in these words: 
"Now abideth faith, hope, and charity, 
these three; but the greatest of these is 
charity." The translation "love" is supe- 
rior to the former translation; but at the 
same time we must insist that love, if it be 
true love, if it be divine love, must always 
express itself in noble charity; and so in 
all seriousness and earnestness we must 
urge the youth of our time not only to be 
expectant of blessings to be received, but 
equally anxious for opportunities to give 
and to serve. Life will mean immeasurably 
more to those youth who approach it not 
only as a filling-station, but also as a 
power-plant for the distribution of their 
talents in service to their fellows. 



[44] 



CHAPTER III 



INTERPRETING CHRISTIANITY TO YOUTH 

YOUTH, like the spring, is perennial. 
That is why it is so engaging. It 
offers the church its finest field of service 
to the world. Its conquests for the King- 
dom must come through the winning of 
youth. Let us summarize its charms again. 
We cannot too often ponder them, nor 
easily overestimate their promise to the 
Kingdom's advancement. Youth, as we 
have said, is open-minded. There is more 
hope of a fool than of a man with a closed 
mind. It is also broad-minded. Both men- 
tal accessibility for new ideas and fresh 
attitudes and mental breadth and expan- 
siveness are vitally needed in our day, 
if progress is to come. Youth is courageous. 
Nothing can daunt its daring spirit. 
[45] 



Youth and Truth 



Youth is confident. Youth's confidence 
sometimes leads to tragedies, but even these 
are preferable to the ridiculous comedies 
of calculating age. Youth is enthusiastic. 
We do not lose our enthusiasm when we 
grow old. We grow old when we lose our 
enthusiasm. Youth has the spirit of serv- 
ice. Energy is its middle name, and this 
energy must have outlets of expression. It 
will find them or make them. Youth is 
whole-hearted. Youth's loyalty has never 
been successfully impeached. Youth would 
die rather than temporize or pussyfoot. 
All youth is one-hundred-per-cent. Youth 
faces the future. It is impatient of the 
past. It revels in crusades into new lands 
and with new shibboleths on its banners. 
Youth is altruistic. It is thoughtful of 
others and free from selfish designs. Youth 
is optimistic. Youth has transformed the 
deserts and swamps of the world and of 
life into gardens of beauty and profit. 
Youth is no lightning-bug with its head- 
light on behind. Youth is restive, restive 
[46] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 

under restraint. Such restiveness is a fun- 
damental condition of progress for the in- 
dividual and for society. The worst boy on 
the college campus is likely to be the most 
promising man there. Revolutionists and 
Bolsheviks arise out of the soil of such 
restiveness as readily as do the reformers 
and prophets of a better day. Here is an 
opportunity and also a challenge. Youth 
is discontented with things as they are. 
Contentment is not far from stagnation. 
Youth is frank and aboveboard. It does 
on the front porch what its parents did on 
the back porch or in the parlor. Youth is 
lovable. Those who know youth best love 
youth best, and youth always responds to 
love. Youth is reverent. Youth's reverence 
is its most charming quality. It is friend- 
ship for God expressing itself in conduct. 
Youth is leadable. It trusts its leaders in 
whom it has confidence, and follows joy- 
fully. When it goes wrong, look for incom- 
petent leadership, and you will likely find 
it. Youth's counselors are youth's fate. 
[47] 



Youth cmd Truth 



Enough has been said, in describing the 
spirit of youth, and in this brief resume 
of it, to suggest that youth is not the awful 
thing it is represented to be. The dis- 
paragement of youth is not modernism. It 
is fundamentally fundamentalistic funda- 
mentalism. It is as old as the rocks. An 
ancient Assyrian stone carved twenty- 
eight hundred years before Christ laments 
the follies of youth and predicts the 
decadence of life as a consequence. This 
monumental dirge deposes thusly: "Our 
earth is degenerate in these later days; 
there are signs that the world is speedily 
coming to an end ; bribery and corruption 
are common ; children no longer obey their 
parents ; every man wants to write a book ; 
and the end of the world is evidently ap- 
proaching." 

And here is the present-day sentiment 
of a fine teacher, Professor Edward Dickin- 
son of Oberlin, a famous professor of 
music: "Youth always prefers sensations 
to ideas. The beginner ... in life must 
[48] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



be allowed certain follies. The way to 
steady him is not to lecture him, but to 
keep before him models of strong thought 
and clear vision, trusting them to exert a 
subtle, transforming influence in their 
own good time." This is modern orthodoxy, 
according to which our adult ideas are of 
more value than all the engaging charms 
of youth, whose very excellencies are follies 
shortly to be transformed. 

Here is a third view, the view of a leader 
of modern youth, himself a youth, given in 
a private letter. Mr. Stanley High, in 
answer to a personal inquiry, writes: 
"There is a very marked and sometimes 
startling interest in religion among young 
people. . . . Having in mind this religious 
interest, I think an interpretation of re- 
ligion to young people should not be sugar- 
coated. It is my conviction that too many 
leaders of religious work among young 
people assume that they must make re- 
ligion a sort of light and airy proposition 
ushered in with the latest jazz singing and 
[49] 



Youth cmd Truth 



ushered out with cocoa and soda crackers. 
I am interested both in the jazz singing 
and in the refreshments, but I don't think 
they are at all necessary to the religious 
program for young people. The places 
where religious work among young folks 
is being most seriously carried on . . . are 
places where without apology and under 
intelligent leadership young people are led 
to give serious and extended consideration 
to the most serious problems of religious 
life and thought." 

And then this vigorous leader and 
prophet of our youth, with college students 
particularly in his mind, makes a practical 
suggestion worthy of most careful con- 
sideration. He says: "I think that for col- 
lege young people the religious program 
to be successful must be placed pretty 
largely on an experimental basis. The 
scientific method which has so taken hold 
of the imagination of a good many people 
is being demanded, I think, by college stu- 
dents in relation to matters of religion. 
[50] 



Interpreting Christicmity to Youth 



In other words, they ask that the validity 
of religious truth be demonstrated rather 
than assumed. Personally I should like 
to see a lot of religious laboratories 
spring up all over the country on college 
campuses. In these laboratories young 
people could do two things. In the first 
place, they could study the history of the 
religious experiences of the outstanding in- 
dividuals of previous generations. They 
could endeavor to discover whether from 
these accounts they could find the basis 
for some valid conclusions relative to ex- 
perimental religion. Then in the second 
place, in these laboratories the young 
people in all seriousness could set out on 
some experiments of their own. They could 
put forth a real effort to understand the 
technique, devotional and intellectual, by 
means of which other individuals in gen- 
erations in the past have come into pos- 
session of this higher power. It seems to 
me that the big contribution which the 
younger generation can give to religion 
[51] 



Youth cmd Truth 



may be found in this effort to take the 
methods of science and make them ap- 
plicable and valid for the realm of re- 
ligious experience. If that is done it will 
no longer be necessary for the so-called in- 
tellectuals to apologize for the mystical, 
supernatural element in religion, and re- 
ligion itself will no longer be in any such 
danger as it is at present of losing its 
great dynamic." 

Before proceeding further with our dis- 
cussion, the question may be raised whether 
it would not be well to ask youth to in- 
terpret Christianity to adults. We have 
had our chance at it, and we must frankly 
admit that we have not attained perfec- 
tion. Why not give youth its chance to 
exemplify the faith that is in it? We might 
be shocked, but shocks have been known 
to have therapeutic value. Who knows but 
that they may also have spiritual enlight- 
enment resident in them? Missionaries tell 
us we have made a mistake in our efforts 
at world evangelization in trying to teach 
[52] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



other peoples Christianity as a system of 
thought rather than as a way of life, and 
that what we should adopt as our future 
policy is to introduce the non-Christian 
peoples to Christ and leave matters of in- 
terpretation to them. We have a lot to 
atone for in our poor approach to the non- 
Christian nations, and we stand to learn 
much of the hidden meaning of Christian- 
ity from their several interpretations of it. 

It is suggested, and not without reason, 
that we owe youth a sincere apology for 
our unsympathetic assaults on it, and that 
our method of aiding young people re- 
ligiously should consist in a genuine desire 
to introduce them to Christ as a living 
Person whom they can trust confidently, 
and then, as the missionaries recommend, 
leave matters of interpretation to them. 
We would on this basis not ask youth to 
believe certain doctrines and dogmas, but 
to trust Christ and, trusting, to follow 
Him wheresoever He might lead. If we 
cannot have confidence in this attitude and 
[53] 



Youth cmd Truth 



method of approach, we need to revise our 
faith in the preeminence of Jesus. He shall 
reign. To His name every knee shall bow. 
Ultimate triumph is to be His. If we in- 
troduce young people to Him, He will lead 
them into deeds of service along the path- 
way of the Christian life. Of this we can 
have no doubt. We can trust Christ, and 
we can trust Him to impart His spirit to 
trusting youth. 

Adults should be willing, however, to 
assist youth in every way possible to un- 
derstand the Christ in Christianity. We 
shall find this a major undertaking, filled 
with large possibilities of enlightenment 
for ourselves as well as for youth. It will 
startle some, for example, to discover that 
there is a difference between Christ and 
Christianity, and that Christ always re- 
mains the same, while Christianity changes 
from age to age. This suggests that we 
must introduce youth to Christ in terms 
of the ruling ideas and ideals of our time. 
Out of these they can and will construct 
[54] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



their own interpretation of Christianity, 
and we should be willing and anxious that 
they do this. 

What are these ruling ideas and ideals 
characterizing our world to-day, and set- 
ting it off, so to speak, from other ages? 
They are five in number: democracy, 
science through universal education, social 
religion, the world-view of life, and the 
quest for truth and unity. If these ideas 
and ideals are to upbuild rather than 
destroy our social order, the youth of the 
world must see how Christ leads in all of 
them and how they are but the inevitable 
outgrowth and fruitage of His life and 
teaching. 

1. Democracy. — Our youth is enam- 
oured of the idea of democracy. It enters as 
a conditioning circumstance with pecul- 
iar force into the warp and woof of their 
character. The times are democratic. The 
spirit of the age is for government "of the 
people, by the people, and for the people." 
The readiness with which crowns have 
[55] 



Youth and Truth 



glided from the brows of kings, and with 
which thrones have tottered in these later 
days, has created an atmosphere tense with 
hope and opportunity for democracy. That 
famous phrase, "to make the world safe 
for democracy," must be supported in the 
realm of practice by the spirit of that 
companion phrase, "a rising tide welling 
up in the hearts of men and making for 
brotherhood." There are various types of 
democracy abroad in the world to-day — in 
China, in Germany, in Switzerland, in 
France, in America, in England. Yet the 
idea is all but universal that men are born 
innately free to govern themselves. The 
democratic idea, cramped at times by race, 
religion, and class cleavage of various 
kinds, is marvelously influencing the spirit 
of youth. They must see Christ as the 
original democrat and as regnant in all 
they aspire to see achieved for the govern- 
ment of men. 

2. Science through Universal Educa- 
tion. — Science too is a tremendous force 
[56] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



molding the life and character of youth. 
The romance of man's progressive under- 
standing of the material universe is a bril- 
liant chapter in the progress of the race. 
Electrons and protons are familiar con- 
cepts to the youth of to-day, concepts en- 
tirely foreign to present-day adults in 
their days of youth. Complexes and 
synapses are as familiar too in the realm 
of man's mental life. Our youth to-day un- 
derstands the world's history in the Eocene 
age better than the race of men who lived 
then and enjoyed it. Science increasingly 
renders the material world the servant of 
man's life. To youth, through education, 
science is an open book, a fountain of in- 
spiration, a beacon of hope, a challenge 
ever to achieve a more helpful use of na- 
ture in the service of man. Christ must be 
credited with this marvelous development 
in scientific discovery. He declared His 
Spirit would lead us into all truth. He is 
making good His promise. Happy the 
youth who thus aids the world the better 
[57] 



Youth cmd Truth 



to be understood. He is rendering God and 
man a priceless service. It will be a calam- 
ity if youth get the idea that science and 
religion are antipodal. Scientific knowl- 
edge should be regarded as the ally of 
Christian faith. We must help youth so to 
regard it. * 

3. Social Religion. — Social religion is 
the current coin of the youth of the day. 
It is not a new gospel, but, rightly under- 
stood, the inevitable outcropping of the 
teachings and life of Christ. It appears, 
however, to many devout men and women 
who think in categories of personal salva- 
tion and of a discredited theology, that 
this social religion for which youth is so 
clamant is the enemy of the gospel. It is 
far otherwise with our youth. They have an 
inner urge that impels them not only to ac- 
cept but joyously to embrace the implica- 
tions of social religion. Its gospel is the 
very breath of their life. Extreme individ- 
ualism is repugnant to them. Our youth are 
glad devotees of a religion with a social 
[58] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



program. We must show them that this 
social religion is what Christ came to live 
and teach. He did live and teach it, and 
He is in full sympathy with their aspira- 
tion to see it realized in men's lives and in 
the social order. 

4. The World-View of Life. — Closely 
allied with the teachings of social religion 
is the lure of the world-view, which appeals 
to the soul of youth with irresistible charm. 
Senators in Washington, blinded by parti- 
zan interests, may oppose the League of 
Nations ; but youth is for it without hesita- 
tion, mental reservation, or secret evasion 
of mind. Witness the pronouncements of 
the Evanston Conference. Fraternity is a 
major theme in the oratorio of youth's life. 
All any youth needs to induce him to em- 
brace any concept involving fraternity is a 
convincing vision of the opportunity that 
appeals for aid. The world is not too big 
for the affection of high-souled youth in 
this twentieth century of vision and chal- 
lenge. The Conference of the World's Liv- 
[59] 



Youth cmd Truth 



ing Religions to be held in Geneva in 
August of 1928, whereby it is hoped to dis- 
cover a basis of cooperation for these 
eleven faiths in understanding and brother- 
hood, finds in youth a strong and stalwart 
advocacy. Any enterprise making for the 
unity and the solidarity of the world has 
compelling influence over the heart and 
conscience of youth. But this is exactly 
Christ's aim and aspiration. He was the 
first citizen of the world. Cosmopolitan- 
ism is another term, when rightly under- 
stood, for Christianity. Jesus was the 
original cosmopolite. Youth needs Him as 
the exemplar of its faith and as the cap- 
tain of its forces, working for the realiza- 
tion of the world-view of humanity. 

5. The Quest for Truth and Unity. — 
Youth does not hesitate to affirm its con- 
viction that unity underlies all life and 
experience, that it inheres in and char- 
acterizes all truth. It has set out on the 
quest for this unity. It is emboldened in 
its determination to find the object of its 
[60] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



quest, because science has demonstrated the 
undoubted unity of the physical universe. 
Psychology too, in abandoning its faculty 
view of the human mind, has added the 
weight of its authority to youth's con- 
fident expectation that ultimate unity is 
demonstrable. It is our privilege to offer 
to youth religion, the religion of Christ, as 
the synthesizing, unifying principle for all 
the interests of life, for which it is so 
earnestly, hopefully seeking. Modern psy- 
chology further has rendered no greater 
service to our understanding of man than 
its explosion of the traditional conception 
that we are possessed of a religious in- 
stinct. We are wholly religious rather, for 
religion rests on all the instincts. It is 
therefore impossible to be, and not to be 
religious in some respect. Religion thus is 
seen to be the abiding quality of every act, 
and not a grafted-on something. If there is 
anything abiding in humanity, it must 
therefore be this religious interest. 

Our youth do not comprehend the all too 
[61] 



» 



Youth and Truth 



prevalent division of the interests and oc- 
cupations of life into sacred and secular. 
The motive that prompts to action in any 
instance to their young and unsophisti- 
cated minds is the determining element of 
its quality. They feel that they can serve 
God, that they can worship God, in their 
play and in their work as well as in their 
prayers and in their gifts for His King- 
dom. It is the religious sanction that makes 
conduct sacred, and the lack of it that sec- 
ularizes it, in the eyes of our high-souled 
young life to-day. With them every calling 
is sacred if pursued with the motive of 
service to brother man and God. And con- 
versely, with them every calling is secular 
that lacks this Christian motivation as the 
fountain source of its inspiration. Life is 
one, and conduct is one, and every interest 
and concern of life must be integrated, 
such is the unrelenting conviction of our 
youth. It is most gratifying that, con- 
vinced as they are of the sanity, of the 
necessity of this unity, they realize that 
[62] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



they cannot achieve it apart from religion. 
Every consequential gathering of young 
people since the World War has inescap- 
ably constructed its program around this 
idea and in terms of its idealism. Religion 
as life, religion expressing itself in con- 
duct, is the unifying, the integrating in- 
fluence in the life of modern youth. Per- 
sonality, not materialism, is the capstone 
of the arch of their spiritual conceptions. 

And so we must demonstrate to youth 
that mechanistic evolution and behavior- 
istic psychology are passing phases of sci- 
entific hypothesis unable to account for the 
facts they essay to explain. Any theory of 
evolution that may ultimately be accepted, 
they must see, cannot exclude God from 
His universe. They must, if they accept 
evolution. as God's chosen method of crea- 
tion, understand that real evolution is 
fundamentally theistic. That God has 
spoken to men's hearts, and that He con- 
tinues to do so, and that there is no reason 
to presume He will ever cease to do so, 
[63] 



Youth and Truth 



rests on too solid a testimony in human ex- 
perience to be set aside by any theory of 
the universe that is founded on purely 
mechanistic bases. It is our privilege and 
duty to make this clear to our youth. 
Failure so to teach them will be disastrous 
for them and for Christianity. 

The same is true of behavioristic or 
mechanical psychology. The human body 
is scientifically shown to be composed of 
electrons and protons ; and it is also a fact 
that these electrical what-nots do tend to 
discharge into conduct, but it is just as 
certainly demonstrated in our experience 
that their discharges are subject to the 
soul which man is. The soul is not mechan- 
ically subject to them. Those who know 
the capabilities of the human spirit can 
only smile incredulously when the behavior- 
ist asserts that we must either gratify our 
impulses or develop a complex. Religion 
does not concede that the human soul is 
thus the pawn of blind forces. Experience 
teaches that there is possible a sublimation 
[64] 



Interpretmg Christianity to Youth 



of our impulses and instincts, which the 
old theologians called regeneration and 
Paul regarded as a transformation of the 
mind as contrasted with mental conform- 
ity to the "drives" and "urges" of the 
world. Religion is also buttressed in this 
contention by the well-known facts of dual 
personality, of the subconscious, and of 
the ability of the soul to refashion a dis- 
eased or injured brain to serve as its 
further medium of expression. Thompson 
in his "Brain and Personality" has given 
a convincing array of such cases, and 
numerous instances are arising all over 
the world confirming this ability of the soul 
to use the brain as its instrument. All this 
we must confidently intrust to youth, with 
full assurance that they will see Christ in 
all their life. And of this we may be sure: 
the future rests with our youth. That they 
are seeking for ultimate reality, for the 
unity of truth, is an encouraging and in- 
spiring situation; and that they are will- 
ing and open-minded and expectant as to 
[65] 



Youth and Truth 



the contribution religion can make to the 
attainment of their goal, presages great 
things for human progress and for the 
satisfaction of the human heart. Our youth 
know that the next great spiritual conflict 
is not to be a continuation of the warfare 
between natural sciences and religion, for 
that battle is won, but between sociology 
and religion. Those whose vested interests 
are at stake are well aware of the situation 
and do not hesitate to use every means 
possible to camouflage it. They are par- 
ticularly, it seems, anxious to continue the 
present debate around natural sciences and 
psychology and religion so as to distract 
the mind of people generally from this por- 
tending conflict. That organized religion, 
however, is aware of the impending situa- 
tion is evident from the social creeds issued 
by our various churches separately and 
by the Federal Council of Churches in the 
name of practically all of them. All the stu- 
dent conventions, too, have given them- 
selves to prolonged consideration of social 
[66] 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 



issues and problems and to their Christian 
solution. Our youth are confident, however, 
as we are able to learn from their pro- 
nouncements and findings that the Chris- 
tian philosophy of life will successfully 
unify and integrate into the religious pro- 
gram this youngest of the sciences, the 
science of society and of social relations, 
and that it will make this science, too, a 
member of the universal chorus of praise 
for the Lord God of Hosts revealed in 
Jesus Christ. Sociology will thus serve fur- 
ther to demonstrate the unity inherent in 
all truth and will join with Christianity in 
proclaiming all men brothers because of 
their common spiritual Fatherhood. 

This quest for unity was beautifully ex- 
pressed at the Memphis Conference when 
it voted for the unification of Methodism 
in the face of its rejection by the church's 
adult leaders, and even more beautifully 
demonstrated in action at the Evanston 
Conference when the youth of the country 
of all denominations voted to unite all the 
[67] 



Youth cmd Truth 



young people's societies of all the churches 
as a stepping-stone to ultimate church 
unity. We should encourage youth in this 
high adventure. Christ prayed for the one- 
ness, the unity, of His followers ; and what 
He prayed for youth can confidently work 
for. He revealed God as the author of all 
things, and we may be sure that His bless- 
ing and approval must rest with peculiar 
tenderness upon the sincere quest of our 
youth to find the unity of life and truth. 
We must demonstrate to these aspiring, 
hopeful young crusaders that in Christ 
Himself this unity is found, in Christ who 
united God and man, two of the ultimately 
abiding factors in the universe. 

The youth of former ages have not been 
so happily situated with reference to these 
five major elements in the social milieu of 
our time. Democracy was a fanciful theory 
in the judgment of many people until 
recently, and of doubtful odor, but now 
'tis become the passion of the race. Science 
is coming into its own, despite the wild 
[68] 

« 



Interpreting Christianity to Youth 

denunciations of a few belated spirits sur- 
viving from the Dark Ages of ignorance 
and fear. Through universal education it 
is liberating the life and thought of man, 
and be it ever remembered you cannot en- 
slave a learned man. Social religion, the 
world-wide vision of mankind, and the 
quest for the unity of life and truth are 
gripping forces in the outlook and culture 
of our day. Out of these mighty, these 
elemental forces youth is destined to con- 
struct a superstructure of high hope and 
noble endeavor in the days that lie ahead, 
using as the foundation-stones of its ris- 
ing life-edifice those splendid qualities 
which have in all the ages characterized 
the exuberant spirit of the world's young 
life. 



[69] 



CHAPTER IV 



TWO LIFE-PRINCIPLES IN CONTRAST 

THERE is disposition on the part of 
the youth of our day to discounten- 
ance the value of creeds. Not what a man 
thinks but what he does and is, they 
frankly assert, is the determining factor 
in his character. No doubt during the past 
we have thought too highly of the practi- 
cal benefit to be derived from beliefs and 
dogmas, and, as is always to be expected in 
such cases, there has been a reaction in 
favor of conduct as opposed to belief or 
creedal formula. 

It must, however, be admitted that the 
creeds which men accept as the foundation 
of their life-principles do have a determin- 
ing effect in the first place upon conduct 
and eventually on character itself. We can 
[70] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



see the practical outworking of the in- 
fluence of his creed on the Apostle Paul, 
who is perhaps as signal an illustration of 
the real potency of creeds as is to be found 
in the records of human life. Paul's Jew- 
ish creed made him the arch-persecutor of 
the Christian Church. But when he had 
seen the great light on the Damascus road, 
his Christian creed transformed him into 
the great and effective apostle to the 
Gentiles. The creed of the American people 
in colonial times, briefly summarized in the 
slogan of our Revolutionary War, "that 
taxation without representation is un- 
just," made the thirteen colonies along the 
Atlantic seaboard an invincible unity 
against the British Government; and this 
American nation stands to-day an eternal 
witness to the practical value of a national 
creed accepted by the individual conscience. 

His belief in God through Jesus Christ 
transformed a cursing fisherman into the 
Pentecostal preacher. What a selfish tax- 
gatherer thought of Jesus magnified him 
[71] 



Youth and Truth 



into the author of the humanitarian gospel 
of the Son of God. His religious creed has 
made out of Billy Sunday, the baseball 
player, the most spectacular evangelist of 
this or of any other day. Creeds of the 
Christian type have in every generation 
made little folks into big ones, transformed 
pygmies into giants, out of the scum and 
refuse of the social order created spiritual 
seers and prophets for each advancing era 
of human history. 

Enough has been said to make clear 
that the creeds which men profess have 
fateful consequences in their conduct, both 
personal and social; and it is, therefore, 
the point of highest wisdom and states- 
manship for youth to select a philosophy of 
life that will satisfy the highest ideals. 
These ideals will have great practical value 
in reconstructing and advancing our civ- 
ilization. In a single generation, through 
temperance instruction in public and Sun- 
day schools, we made possible the Eight- 
eenth Amendment. In that same short 
[72] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



space of time the militarists of Germany 
transformed a gentle and lovable people 
into the frightful Huns of the World War. 
We can guarantee the peace of the world 
on a permanent basis if we will introduce 
into our educational system, the secular 
schools so-called as well as the religious 
schools, the ideals and principles of fra- 
ternity and brotherhood, and we can do 
it in this way only. The League of Nations 
is a political organization of hopeful 
promise for the present, but the only 
guarantee of permanent peace will be a 
generation of boys and girls the world over 
willingly embracing the creed of peace and 
loyally pursuing it. 

We may not be able to tell, by observ- 
ing him walk on the streets, the Christian 
man from the man of the world; but we 
shall have no difficulty, if we know his at- 
titude toward certain great principles of 
life, in arriving at a correct conclusion 
with reference to any man's proper classi- 
fication, whether it be Christian or whether 

[73] 



Youth and Truth 



it be pagan. It is inevitable for youth to 
have a life-principle, and this life-principle 
will be either Christian or pagan. It will 
make all the difference in the world as to 
the attitudes they will take toward the 
problems and issues of their time whether 
those who are now young are to be at- 
titudinized in terms of the Christian prin- 
ciples of life or in terms of a mechanical 
and pagan view of life. 

The world's life-principle is based on 
acquisition. Get is its big verb — get for 
yourself, and so the world is selfish. The 
great man of the world in every country in 
every generation has been the man who has 
gathered unto himself in greatest abund- 
ance the things considered worth while — 
whether cattle, land, money, learning, or 
power. And the wisdom of the world is 
justified in its own eyes. All it can see is 
this present life. All its good is conceived 
in terms of ministering to temporal wel- 
fare. The uncertainties of fortune hint 
provision against accident, and so accu- 
[74] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



mulation is suggested, and once begun it 
gathers up every aspiration of the man. 
This same life-principle when extended to 
the national realm produces secret treaties, 
great armies and navies, and the hate that 
nourishes jealousy of another's progress. 
It prostitutes science and art and life into 
a wild scramble for ascendancy and secur- 
ity, and in its maddened career works the 
destruction of those who are drunk with its 
intoxicating beverage of death. In an 
ancient Book of the Spirit is told the grue- 
some tale of a man whose life-principle was 
worldly, a photograph this of the get- 
propensity of our troubled day: "The 
ground of a certain rich man brought 
forth plentifully: and he thought within 
himself, saying, What shall I do, because 
I have no room wherein to bestow my 
fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will 
pull down my barns, and build greater; 
and there will I bestow all my fruits and 
my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, 
thou hast much goods laid up for many 
[75] 



Youth cmd Truth 



years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be 
merry. But God said unto him, Thou 
fool." 

And the fools are not all dead even in 
this day of enlightenment. "So is he that 
layeth up treasure for himself, and is not 
rich toward God." The selfish man is a 
fool. The covetous man is a fool. The man 
who lays up treasure for himself is a fool. 
The nation that embarks on a program of 
military and naval preparedness and of 
commercial and territorial self-aggrandize- 
ment is a fool. Who then is wise? The 
man who gives is wise. So is the nation. 
He who empties self to fill some one else 
is wise. So is the nation. "He who loses 
his life shall find it" — who acts on that 
life-principle, man or nation, is wise. The 
man rich toward God is wise. But what 
is it to be such a millionaire in spirit? 
It is to forget self. It is to forgo get- 
ting. It is to magnify the spirit of giving. 
It is to deny the world's standards and in 
[76] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



their place to erect the standards of life 
taught by the Man of Galilee. The folly 
of the fools has reigned too long in the 
hearts of men and in the council-chambers 
of nations. The world's getting has 
brought us to the precipice of death. Let 
us try Christ's giving for a season. When 
the World War broke out men began to 
bewail the failure of Christianity. Christ 
had not failed. His teachings had not been 
discredited. His life-principle had not been 
proved ineffective. Christianity had not 
had its chance yet. Christ's teachings had 
not been tested out. Give Him a chance, 
and the world will become the paradise of 
God, with the men and nations of it vying 
with each other in loving interchange of 
mutual helpfulnesses. 

Closely connected with this get-principle 
of the world is its tendency to put the 
emphasis of its thought on rights and 
justice. The legal system of every nation 
is designed to secure to men their rights. 
[77] 



Youth cmd Truth 



We maintain courts and provide judges 
that justice may be done. International 
law has in aim the same ends, only inter- 
national law had no court to interpret it, 
previous to the World Court. When two 
nations disagreed as to the proper inter- 
pretation of international law as touching 
any issue, they resorted to force to prove 
which view was correct. Hence the great 
armies and navies that even in peace af- 
flicted the toilers of the race. This desire 
of the world to guarantee rights and en- 
force justice produces enmity, jealousy, 
hatred in private life. It produces war 
among the nations. The World War, from 
the standpoint of its initiators, was staged 
because Germany's enemies were con- 
stantly watching an opportunity to wrest 
from her her rights. Her enemies replied 
that they wanted nothing Germany had, 
and certainly not her much vaunted 
Kultur, but that she wanted to deprive 
them of their rights, and by enslaving 
them to dominate the world. This world- 
[78] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



pandemonium, we are called upon to be- 
lieve, was for rights. 

But Jesus says this whole clamor for 
rights is wrong, that it is founded on a 
false, because a selfish aim of life. Jesus 
bids a man forget his rights. The only 
right we have, according to this Teacher, 
is the right to see that our brother man 
gets his rights. "Duty" is the big word of 
Christ's vocabulary, duty to God and to 
brother man. We are not to think of our 
rights, but of our duty, not so much of 
our duties as of our privileges. The con- 
flict between this principle of life and that 
of the world is irreconcilable. Darkness 
and light are mutually exclusive. So are 
these two principles of life. But Christ 
shall win. His view is the only true one. 
Men shall learn the futility of demanding 
their rights. They shall cease to clamor 
for more justice. Duty, privilege, mercy 
— these will stand out in the firmament of 
their hearts' purposes like the fixed stars 
of the universe. And in that day the na- 
[79] 



1 



Youth and Truth 



tions will forget war, and all men shall 
live as brothers, in honor preferring one 
another. 

What then will become of the world's 
conception of greatness? It too must go. 
It is a belated notion and long since should 
have been discarded. Two thousand years 
ago the world's notion of greatness was 
the highest ideal man had known. He then 
was greatest who could exert the most au- 
thority over the most men. That nation 
was greatest which could dictate to the 
largest number of vassal states. Power was 
the chief good of the great man or na- 
tion. Might was synonymous with right. 
World-power was the dream of every ruler, 
and cringing slaves his highest honor. He 
was greatest, man or nation, who was 
served by the most people. Inspired by this 
ideal, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, 
Greece, Rome, had aimed at world- 
domination. What pity that the abject 
failures of their predecessors did not teach 
them the inherent falsity of their ambi- 
[80] 



Two Life-principles in Contrast 



tions ! But he who has drunk the intoxicat- 
ing beverage of lordly power is irresistibly 
drawn to the precipice. And even in our 
day, a day twenty centuries after this aim 
had been discredited, the most enlightened 
nation of the world became madly drunk, 
debauched, with the same insatiate thirst 
for overlordship. The very moment Ger- 
many dreamed the nightmare of a world 
at her feet, that splendid empire was 
doomed. Her defeat was as inevitable as 
her ambition was selfish. What a shining 
light the world-attitude of selfish ag- 
grandizement victimized in our day! Ger- 
many knew history. Germany was wise. 
Her scholars taught the world. They knew. 
Here again we see that men do not do the 
right merely because they know it. The 
devils believe and tremble. Knowledge will 
not save men. Knowledge is power, but wis- 
dom, the ability to comprehend and to em- 
ploy usefully the meaning of knowledge, is 
truth, and the truth alone insures freedom 
and liberty. Learning is good, but only 
[81] 



Youth and Truth 



when it is Christianized. Knowledge is 
power, but not for good, unless sanctified 
in the new birth of Christian service. 

"Service" is Christ's word for greatness. 
The Kingdom of Heaven exalts the spirit 
of the little child, which is the essence of 
unselfishness. What a commentary on our 
human nature it is that these innocent 
types of the Kingdom, the little children, 
when they have been long enough with us 
to learn our ways, become calloused in 
selfishness ! Except we become as little chil- 
dren we shall not have part in His King- 
dom. We are specifically told that we must 
not be as the Gentiles, whose rulers lord it 
over them. We are also told that he who 
would be greatest must be servant of all. 
Even as Jesus came not to be ministered 
unto but to minister, so are we who name 
His name to rejoice in every opportunity 
we have of giving ourselves in loving 
service. Here again an irreconcilable con- 
flict arises between world-greatness and 
Kingdom-service. He who serves most, not 
[82] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



he who is most served, is the Christian great 
man. This same attitude must character- 
ize the governments of men. Nations too 
must be Christian. Service, not authority, 
must be their watchword. The spirit that 
stirred our nation to action in freeing 
Cuba, that is the spirit nations should 
earnestly covet. And that same spirit sent 
us on a crusade of death in the World 
War. We could have remained out, but at 
what a cost ! We would have lost the finest 
opportunity ever offered a nation to serve 
mankind. We should have become the 
Bedouins of an outraged humanity. We 
could have remained out and pirate-like 
have grown rich on the sufferings of our 
brothers. But in the noble spirit of a 
genuine service we elected to enter in and 
to do our utmost to rid the earth forever 
of the mailed fist of a world-engulfing au- 
tocracy. The spirit of America in the 
World War is the only defensible ground 
for any war. Have we kept that spirit alive 
these last eight years? 

[83] 



Youth and Truth 



The adherent of the pagan view of life, 
to consider another contrast, is ever pur- 
sued by a relentless fate. He may avoid the 
consequences of his Nemesis for a time, and 
for a time may prosper and even achieve 
wealth, and power, and greatness, but 
eventually he must succumb. Out of the 
dust he arose, and into the dust, after the 
fitful experience we call life, he must re- 
turn. This pessimism finds no hope for a 
progressive civilization. Its way of escap- 
ing the depression of its ever-present at- 
mosphere of gloom is to busy itself with 
material things and to close the door of the 
mind against thoughts on ultimate conse- 
quences. Stately and stoically, it may be, 
or groveling and dissipated, he who ac- 
cepts its view of life approaches the hour 
of its doom sure that nothing permanently 
enduring abides save the cosmic dust of 
which human life is but a passing phase. 

The Christian youth has no fellowship 
with this fatalistic determinism. His view 
of the future is optimistic. The universe to 
[84] 



Two Life-principles in Contrast 



him is good because God is kind. Jesus re- 
vealed His Father as friendly in His atti- 
tude toward men, and the universe too he 
conceives is friendly. Forward is the direc- 
tion our youth are traveling, forward to a 
better and happier world in the edifice of 
which they are joyously building their 
buoyant young lives. In this spirit of good 
cheer, and abounding joy, and genuine op- 
timism they are following in the footsteps 
of their great Exemplar. He was the 
world's greatest optimist. He believed God 
to be friendly. He believed the world to be 
friendly, and declared His Father loved it. 
And best of all He had confidence that men 
are capable of Godlike conduct. So com- 
pelling was His optimism that He selected 
what their contemporaries regarded as an 
unpromising group of young men and in- 
trusted to them the propagation of His 
gospel by which He intended to change the 
attitudes of the whole human family, so 
that this world should become progres- 
sively the Kingdom of Heaven. His confi- 
[85] 



Youth and Truth 



dence was not misplaced. Confidence placed 
in youth is never misplaced. Youth 
responds wholeheartedly to confidence. 
Christ's view of life has always challenged 
the youth of the world and won their will- 
ing allegiance, never more so than in our 
own day. The optimistic spirit of youth is 
a direct fruit of youth's deeply religious 
nature and sends youth forth to do and to 
dare for the great Christian principles of 
life inherent in the concept of a friendly 
world and a friendly God. What finer sum- 
mary of youth's adventurous crusade for 
righteousness than that telling phrase, so 
prevalent in our day, and so expressively 
uttered by youth, "I'll tell the world!" In 
its four words is summed up the real opti- 
mism of the Christian way of life. 

One more contrast and we are done. If 
we are to serve to the extent of self- 
sacrifice, our thoughtful youth inquires 
how progress will come. The world has an 
answer to this query, and so does Jesus. 
The world says progress comes through 
[86] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



development of the strong. Life is competi- 
tion. Competition results in the elimina- 
tion of the weaker, and ought so to result. 
In this way progress is achieved, and the 
race is here to progress. Darwin's survival 
of the fittest is the world's idea succinctly 
stated. The pitying may regret it is so, 
but the weakness of our flesh is upon us. 
The impotent must succumb in the race, 
and it is better so. There is no need to try 
to rescue the weak from their doom. It will 
cost too much and reduce the world's vital- 
ity. Regret it as much as we may, imbeciles 
are nuisances. The only excellency is 
strength. In Germany, Nietzsche's name 
was identified with this philosophy, but the 
whole nation was taught it until it be- 
lieved it, accepted it, as a sort of decree 
of fate. It had become a religion with them. 

This principle for life aims at the pro- 
duction of the superman. In international 
affairs it can but lead to world-empire, 
what we may call the supernation. The 
leading thinkers and statesmen of Ger- 
[87] 



Youth and Truth 



many frankly acknowledged this, and as 
frankly took up the challenge their ac- 
knowledgment entailed. "Look at us," they 
said ; "we are as men individually superior 
to the rest of the world. Our universities 
furnish the ideas of the world, our 
factories its choicest products. Our govern- 
ment is the most efficient the world has 
ever seen or conceived. We have demon- 
strated our fitness to rule mankind, we 
think. If we are mistaken in our belief, we 
are honestly mistaken. The trial at arms 
will tell. If we are defeated, we were not 
strong enough to rule the world, and 
should have been put out sooner or later 
by a stronger breed. So why should we 
worry? We will have done our best. Our 
strength was not sufficient. We deserved to 
die, and make a way for the real deliverers 
of the race from weakness and impotency." 

Such was the view of progress enter- 
tained by Germany. It was a mistaken 
view. We matched their force with our own, 
their lives with ours, to convince them of 
[88] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



their error. They were a deluded people, 
taught by a deluded corps of teachers, 
themselves maddened by a deluded ideal. 
We should have preferred another method 
of convincing them of their error, but the 
choice was not ours. The creed which mad- 
dened them, and stole away their judg- 
ment, drove them to the way of the sword. 
And so we too had to fight or perish. Some 
think it would have been better to perish. 
But we decided otherwise, though we fully 
grant that war is not progress. It is de- 
struction. By this method we can only hope 
to clear the ground of weeds and rocks and 
be ready later to plant our crop. The only 
good that war can achieve is to rid the 
world of false ideals. It is the last recourse, 
and is like the surgeon's knife, which must 
remove the abscess in order to prolong the 
patient's life, even at the risk of the 
patient's death. Education is a far more 
effective remedy and will render the drastic 
method of war unnecessary. 

But Jesus has a word as to progress, 
[89] 



Youth and Truth 



which we must not neglect. His tender 
sympathy for the sick and suffering is in- 
dication that Darwinism and Nietzsche- 
ism are false teachings. He is the friend 
of the humble and the poor. "Bear ye one 
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of 
Christ." Ibsen does not say this. George 
Bernard Shaw does not say it. God's word 
says it. In it there is no suggestion of the 
survival of the fittest, no possible hint of 
the superman. "All ye are brethren," says 
Christ. Paul likens Christians in their re- 
lationship to each other to the parts of 
one body. The strong are to sustain and 
comfort the weak, not only for the sake of 
the weak, but also for the sake of the 
strong. We are to be rescued from our 
baser selves by the service we render those 
weaker than ourselves. How the delicate 
babe tenders the stout heart of a stern 
father! How sickness brings the halo of a 
sweet and gracious ministry to the home! 
We need weakness, we need sickness, to 
[90] 



Two Life- principles in Contrast 



make us real men. And that will be the 
strongest society which concerns itself with 
lifting up every one, even the weakest, to 
the fullest point of development. We could 
perhaps rid the earth of tuberculosis in a 
year, if we would consent to slaughter 
every person found in any way afflicted 
with the disease. This would be a genuine 
case of "survival of the fittest." But who 
could think of it? We will rather build 
sanitariums and expend lavishly our time 
and money in the effort to win the suf- 
ferers back to health, or to make their last 
days comfortable and serene. This latter 
method is of Christ. It makes us more than 
men thus to minister. It makes us Christ- 
like. Only as we help the unfit to survive, 
are we exemplifying in our life the high 
privilege of Christian discipleship, and 
this ministry will bless and ennoble us as 
much as the sufferer whose pain we as- 
suage or whose anguished heart we soothe 
and comfort. The millennium waits on a 
[91] 



Youth and Truth 



generation of youth wholly dedicated to 
this Christian principle of life. It is the 
spiritual leaven that will spiritualize and 
Christianize every interest and enterprise 
of living. 



[92] 



CHAPTER V 



REMOVING HUMAN LIMITATIONS FROM 
THE DIVINE 

THREE constants, we have said, are 
ever present in human experience and 
history. These are the universe, man, and 
their Maker. Science, psychology, and re- 
ligion summate the conclusions men have 
reached in respect to them. The history of 
human progress is a record of change and 
advancement with reference to these funda- 
mentals with which we must constantly 
deal. 

The universe as it was at first apparent 
to the eye of man was conceived as earth- 
centered, with sun and moon and stars all 
revolving around it. The earth itself was 
regarded as four-cornered and flat. The 
miscroscope and the telescope and the 
[93] 



Youth and Truth 



knowledge which has come to men through 
the comprehension of natural laws and 
forces, as they have been revealed through 
the study of the various sciences, have 
changed the world from being a thing of 
magic to a beautifully thought out home 
and seminary for the progressive develop- 
ment of man and the enlarging of his 
spirit. This conception of the universe has 
literally given wings to human progress in 
the perfection of the airplane. It has given 
fins to man in the form of the submarine. 
It has placed in his possessions, and at his 
disposal, forces and capacities unlimited in 
their possibilities of service to human life 
and progress. 

A parallel change in concept is noted 
too respecting the second of these con- 
stants. Man has always been present since 
the dawn of human history as the second 
number of this trinity of fundamentals, 
but his view of himself and of his relation- 
ship to the other two constants has under- 
gone progressive development as history 
[94] 



Removing Human Limitations 



has unfolded his nature to him and his 
latent powers. It appears that man was in 
the beginning the plaything and pawn of 
the universe in which he found himself. 
He did not understand physical laws, and 
he was unable to control the natural forces 
of the universe in which he existed. On the 
physical side he found himself identical 
with the material substance that con- 
stituted the earth; and it took him long 
and tedious centuries, not to say Aeons, to 
differentiate himself by recognition of his 
divine nature from the physical universe. 
We ought not to be harsh in our j udgment 
of the human race because of this dis- 
paraging view of it, because we know that 
the normal man weighing 150 pounds is 
chemically valued at ninety-eight cents 
and will contain approximately 9000 gal- 
lons of oxygen, 21,000 gallons of hydro- 
gen, 450 gallons of nitrogen, 9 gallons of 
chlorine, 27 pounds of carbon, S pounds 
of calcium, 1% pounds of phosphorus, 
8% ounces of potassium, 6 ounces of sul- 
[95] 



Youth cmd Truth 



phur, 3.7 ounces of sodium, 1.3 ounces of 
magnesium, 1 ounce of iron, and a trace 
of iodine, silicon, and fluorine. Primitive 
man did not know any of these substances 
by name, because he had not differentiated 
them from each other, any more than he 
had differentiated himself from the uni- 
verse. It has taken modern chemistry to 
inform us respecting the chemical elements 
that constitute the human body. 

It was impossible for man to climb far 
up the ladder of human progress, however, 
until he was satisfied that though related 
to the physical world, through his body, 
he himself in his essential being is vastly 
superior to the universe of things and to 
the plant and animal life surrounding him. 
It is a long story that records this differen- 
tiation, but in due process of time the con- 
cept prevailed that man is essentially spir- 
itual and that he is a little lower than 
God. This conviction as to his worth- 
whileness and dignity made possible the 
utilization of the knowledge of the universe 
[96] 



Removing Human Limitations 



he had gleaned and the mastery of the 
forces he had discovered. The limitations 
on human progress were removed far more 
decidedly by man's growing appreciation 
of his own spiritual endowment than by his 
discovery of the nature, forces, and laws 
of the physical world. It would be more 
nearly correct to say that man's discov- 
ery of his spiritual resources directly con- 
ditioned and made possible his mastery of 
physical forces, for until he became con- 
vinced of his spiritual lordship in the uni- 
verse, there was no inner urge impelling 
him to the understanding of the world or 
to the comprehension of methods of using 
his knowledge of it. 

With respect to God we find a parallel 
situation. As we look back over the rec- 
ords of human history and read through 
archaeological relics the changing and ex- 
panding conceptions men have successively 
entertained of God, we cannot but be con- 
vinced that humanity owes more of its 
progress and development to the orienta- 
ls] 



Youth and Truth 



tion of God in human life than to any 
other force, power, or influence. The mon- 
strosities and absurdities perpetrated on 
humanity in the name of religion and as 
constituting the service and worship of 
God appal us as we review them, but we 
must never forget that these rites, formu- 
las, incantations, spells, rituals, customs, 
and ceremonies were serious business for 
the spiritually benighted men and women 
who practised them with the firm convic- 
tion that they pleased God in their per- 
formance. The evolution of religion from 
primitive manaism or pre-animism through 
animism, totemism, ancestor-worship, 
polytheism, henotheisnij on to monotheism 
is a brilliant record of advancing concept 
portraying for us the marvelous upreach 
and outreach of the human spirit in its 
progressive effort to understand the Maker 
of the universe and of man. Every one of 
these successive steps in the development 
of man's religious conceptions has condi- 
tioned and limited God, and the influence 
[98] 



Removing Human Limitations 

of these conditions and limitations on the 
Divine has been in every instance a 
shackle, a manacle on the free expression 
of the human spirit, first in its relation- 
ship to the universe, then in its relation- 
ship to brother men, and last and most 
especially in its relationship to God. 

The most powerful force in the universe 
is the concept which men entertain respect- 
ing God. Their limitations of Him have 
been their undoing, and, as they have been 
able to break the bonds of any spiritual 
concepts which limited the Holy One, they 
have been able to go forward by leaps and 
bounds. The marvelous progress which has 
been recorded in the past century and a 
half is due primarily to the view that men 
have during these one hundred and fifty 
years entertained respecting God as a lov- 
ing Heavenly Father. With this thought 
animating their every effort and thrilling 
them with spiritual energy, men have con- 
ceived of themselves as brothers one to an- 
other and so have achieved democracy; 
[99] 



Youth and Truth 



they have conceived of the universe as the 
servant of human life, and so have achieved 
science and invention; and they have con- 
ceived of God as present in every experi- 
ence of life, and so are achieving a spirit- 
ual social order. What the future holds 
for the human race no dreamer is able to 
forecast, because the progress of the race 
in the future, as its achievement in the 
past, is absolutely and unconditionally de- 
pendent upon the removal of our human 
limitations from the Holy One. 

(1) Human history reveals that men 
have limited the Divine as to His charac- 
ter. They have thought of Him as capable 
of vengeance. They have thought of Him 
as having favorites and pets, as by the 
power of His authority destining certain 
persons to eternal glory and others to 
eternal punishment, as making men blind 
pawns in the hand of His majesty and au- 
thority, as showing mercy toward those to 
whom He would be merciful, and as dis- 
playing wrath and hatred toward those 
[100] 



Removing Humcm Limitations 



whom He should elect so to treat. Then 
men have thought of Him as a God of 
justice, who, under the figure of a judge, 
was conceived as having pleasure in ad- 
ministering law and imposing penalties on 
His disobedient subjects. They have 
thought of Him as a God of mercy, par- 
doning them their transgressions, forgiv- 
ing their sins when with "broken and con- 
trite" hearts they cried to Him in their 
distress. But now they think of Him as a 
loving Heavenly Father, not only the spir- 
itual parent of the human soul, but vitally 
and continually concerned for the hap- 
piness and advancement of each individual 
offspring. 

Manifestly these concepts as to God's 
nature have marvelously influenced the 
life, conduct, and progress of the human 
race. When men conceived of God as a 
God of vengeance, it was easy for them to 
act toward each other in a spirit of re- 
venge. Life was bitter in those days, and 
disgraced by jealousies, rivalries, and 
[101] 



Youth and Truth 



wholesale slaughter and murder. No voice 
was raised against the inhumanity of man 
to man while this concept of God prevailed. 
Since men knew God as vengeful in His 
attitudes, it was natural, normal, and in- 
evitable that they should exemplify the 
same harsh attitudes in their dealings with 
one another. 

When men thought of God as partial 
in His relationships with mankind, they 
could not escape the direful effects of this 
mistaken notion in their human relation- 
ships; and so we find primogeniture, the 
divine right of kings, the enslaving of 
women and children, the institution of 
slavery itself, polygamy, and many other 
practices revolting to us, as the inescap- 
able expression in human relationships of 
the controlling concept of God as having 
pets and favorites among His children. 
Mohammedanism to-day perpetuates and 
glorifies this attitude. Its social order is 
revolting, as is also its thought of heaven. 

When man began to think of God as 
[102] 



Removing Human Limitations 



administering His universe according to 
justice and law, we find a parallel im- 
provement in the social institutions and 
customs that minister to human life on the 
plane of social living. "An eye for an eye 
and a tooth for a tooth" was a long step 
in advance of "two legs for a toe or a life 
for an ear," as frequently resulted when 
vengeance characterized man's concept of 
God. The Ten Commandments in our 
Christian Scriptures mark a culminating 
point in the development of the concept of 
God as judge, administering and ruling 
according to a legal code. A vast number 
of the rules to-day for the administration 
of justice and for the securing of rights 
is attributed to this conception of the di- 
vine character, which has so pleased men 
that they have perpetuated it in their leg- 
islative and executive bodies, and made it 
the basis of government itself. 

But justice is stern. Men might fear, 
men did fear a God who dealt justly with 
them, but they were not satisfied with this 
[103] 



Youth and Truth 



limitation on the divine character. In 
daily experience men committed offenses 
for which strict justice would have imposed 
harsh penalties. Pardon and forgiveness 
they craved. Cities of refuge were ap- 
pointed. They began inevitably to think 
of God, not merely as a judge on a throne, 
but as capable of forgiveness and as re- 
joicing in mercy. The prophets of Israel 
caught this vision of a merciful God and 
proclaimed it with passionate zeal. It was 
a marvelous step in the direction of the 
releasing of the human spirit and of the 
loosening of the shackles that held that 
spirit down to the exact letter of a legal 
system which, while it might be just, often- 
times did violence to the human heart. 
Men might look upon the outward appear- 
ance, but God, they thought, looked upon 
the heart; and so they began to incorpor- 
ate into their relationships one to another 
this higher view of the divine nature that 
forgiveness is sublime and that "the qual- 
ity of mercy is not strain'd." 

[104] 



Removing Human Limitations 



It is when we come into the New Testa- 
ment and breathe the spirit of the Naz- 
arene that we reach a conception of God 
that completely satisfies the human spirit, 
involving as it does the ideal relationship 
also of man to man. Jesus taught that God 
is our loving Heavenly Father. It is hard 
for us to conceive to-day the liberalizing 
influence of this view of God. We have 
become so accustomed to it in our thinking 
and in the organization of our life that it 
is difficult for us to think back to a social 
order in which any other view prevailed 
than the ideal which characterizes our 
present attitude. In this concept of God 
which Jesus revealed there are two essen- 
tial notions, the fatherhood of God ex- 
pressing itself in the brotherhood of man. 
To live in a universe in which men are 
brothers one to another by reason of a 
spiritual parentage and to think of that 
spiritual parent as good, kind, beneficent, 
and loving is to introduce a force into the 
life and relationships of men that must 
[105] 



Youth and Truth 



eventually transform not only the life of 
the individual man, but the institutions, 
organizations, and customs of the social 
order itself, so that "old things will pass 
away and all things will become new" in 
the glorious freedom and fellowship and 
brotherhood of humanity. The Kingdom of 
God and the Kingdom of Heaven thus be- 
come one and the same concept, as this 
Christian view of God progressively un- 
folds itself in the lives of men and in the 
social order that serves their life. 

(2) Not only have men limited God as 
to His character with disastrous conse- 
quences arising therefrom in their own life 
and experience, but they have limited Him 
in respect of His conduct. They have con- 
ceived of Him as making the world in six 
days of twenty-four hours each and then 
as having turned this world over to man 
with no further personal concern in its 
operation or improvement. Men have 
thought of Him as limited by His own 
laws. Men have thought of Him as having 
[106] 



Removing Human Limitations 



set forces to operating, forces which would 
in the long processes of time produce the 
physical universe as we see it and eventu- 
ally change it into the ideal which from 
the beginning He had aspired for it to 
reach. Still other men have thought of 
Him as eternally vigilant in the building 
of the universe and as continually coop- 
erating with men in the effort to change 
and improve it. The influence of these con- 
cepts as to God's conduct has been de- 
terminative in the realm of human prog- 
ress. 

From these statements as to the conduct 
of God we gather that there are three dis- 
tinct and separate views. The first con- 
ceives of God as a creator. It relies upon 
the concept as given in the opening of 
Genesis, where we read, "In the beginning 
God created the heaven and the earth," 
and upon the opening words of the Gospel 
according to John, where we read, "In the 
beginning was the Word . . . All things 
were made by Him ; and without Him was 
[107] 



Youth and Truth 



not anything made that was made." One 
distinguished churchman went so far as to 
give the exact date and hour when God in 
the process of creation reached the time 
when man should be created. For example, 
Dr. John Lightfoot, vice-chancellor of the 
University of Cambridge, gave it as his 
scholarly conclusion that "man was cre- 
ated by the Trinity on the 23rd day of 
October, 4004 b. c, at nine o'clock in the 
morning." And to this a colored divine 
added, "and then God stood him in the 
corner of the fence to dry." When a num- 
ber of the congregation inquired who built 
the fence, the preacher retorted, "My 
brudder, youse gwine straight to hell fer 
yore lak uv faith." 

This view has insisted upon God as fin- 
ishing His work with the act of creation. 
Of course there has been a feeling on the 
part of the spiritually minded in every age 
that men are under obligation to use the 
universe in accordance with the plans and 
purposes and ideals of God, but that they 
[108] 



Removing Human Limitations 



are left alone in arriving at the manner 
in which they are to meet this obligation, 
that God Himself is chiefly concerned in 
contemplating the work that He has done, 
receiving the adoration of His subjects, 
and enjoying Himself in rest from His 
labor. This view accounts for the slow, 
plodding progress of the human race, with 
long periods in which no progress has been 
achieved. The world lacks inspiration for 
growth and development when it conceives 
of its God as an absentee potentate living 
in the skies and walking not with men in 
their daily experiences. 

The adherents of the second view have 
become quite clamant in these latter days. 
They have relied upon biology in science, 
behaviorism in psychology, and determin- 
ism in religion, and on these as bases have 
constructed a mechanical theory of evolu- 
tion that deprives man of his spiritual na- 
ture and bows God out of His universe. 
There is nothing, these materialistic phi- 
losophers, these behavior is tic psycholo- 
[109] 



Youth and Truth 



gists, these mechanical evolutionists assert, 
in the most upstanding man in human his- 
tory which was not essentially in the elec- 
trons and protons of the original primor- 
dial protoplasmic cell. Everything that 
this most distinguished of all men is, they 
say, inhered in this cell in embryo ; and all 
that has been necessary in order for this 
cell to become man with all his multiplied 
powers and capacities is time. In these lat- 
ter days they have become more inclusive 
still in their identification of man with ma- 
terial substance, and they are stating that, 
inasmuch as all chemical elements point in 
the direction of an all pervasive energy, 
there may be no essential difference be- 
tween the qualities, the capacities, and the 
inherent characteristics of the protoplas- 
mic cell on the one hand and between plant 
and mineral life on the other. When we 
come into the realm of psychology, the be- 
haviorists assure us that all human con- 
duct is but the reaction of our nervous sys- 
[110] 



Removing Human Limitations 



tern to certain stimuli, and that no other 
force or influence can determine the issue 
of any situation of human experience, ex- 
cept the nervous system and the stimuli to 
which it is subjected. Conscience and 
moral sense also inhere in the animal 
world, they tell us, in quality the same, 
though in degree less than in man. 

This view agrees with the former view 
in the concept that the world can get along 
without God. It differs from it in the as- 
sertion that it has always got along with- 
out God and that He was not necessary as 
the Creative Agent or First Cause in the 
making of the universe. The direful con- 
sequences of this mechanical and mate- 
rialistic view of the world and of man are 
beginning to be felt in the lowering of 
moral standards, the loosening of moral 
restraints, the disintegration of the cus- 
toms and conventions of life and society, 
and the widespread tendency toward 
crime, particularly as it finds its expres- 
[lll] 



Youth and Truth 



sion in the life of youth, who have been 
especially in these latter years imbued with 
the idea of mechanistic evolution. 

Certainly there has been protest and 
outcry against this view, and there ought 
to be. The fundamentalists of our day are 
right in their denunciation of mechanistic 
evolution, of behavioristic psychology, and 
of materialistic philosophy, but they are 
mistaken in the remedy they propose for 
the deplorable situation in which we find 
ourselves. They would take us back to the 
conception of God as having finished His 
work and as enjoying rest and peace un- 
perturbed in His celestial mansion, sur- 
rounded by the untold billions of disem- 
bodied spirits which have peopled the 
earth and now throng heaven, for Him 
singing their anthems and halleluiah chor- 
uses of ceaseless song, world without end, 
amen. In their criticisms they are right, 
but in their remedy they are wrong. We 
must face the future, removing from our 
concepts of God's conduct our precon- 
[112] 



Removing Human Limitations 



ceived notions as to His absenteeism from 
the affairs of men, as is conceived either by 
the fundamentalist or by the atheistic evo- 
lutionist. 

We must emphasize the third view as to 
God's conduct, that He is the Builder of 
the universe, and that, as Jesus said of 
Him, He has worked from the beginning 
for the betterment of the world and con- 
tinues to work to that end. This concept 
puts springs under the feet of human 
progress. It makes man partner with God, 
the co-worker of God, in the building of 
the universe into the ideal God has cher- 
ished for it from the beginning. Accord- 
ing to this view, every time a human be- 
ing discovers a new force or resource or 
potentiality or law in God's world, he is 
thinking God's thoughts after Him, and, 
when he utilizes his discoveries for uplift- 
ing and blessing his brother men, he is 
actively cooperating with God in His pro- 
gram of betterment for the universe He 
created and for man who is His offspring. 
[113] 



Youth cmd Truth 



It is a wonderfully comforting thought 
that God not only created the world and 
breathed into man's body the spiritual af- 
flatus that makes him kin to God Himself, 
or, to borrow the expressive phrase of the 
writer of Genesis, makes him "in the image 
of God," but that God continues to con- 
cern Himself in building His good uni- 
verse into a better and that He "so loved 
the world, that He gave His only begotten 
Son, that whosoever belie veth in Him 
should not perish, but have everlasting 
life." The dignity of living and working 
with God, whose life is ceaselessly occupied 
in cooperating with man to make the world 
and the men who inhabit it better from day 
to day, connotes a thought that challenges 
the best in humanity ; and our high-souled 
youth will rise to meet with whole-hearted 
endeavor the opportunities and privileges 
of such a challenge. 

(3) Men have limited God, too, as to 
His willingness and as to His ability to 
communicate with His children. The view 
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Removing Human Limitations 



has been widely prevalent that God would 
speak only through an earthly representa- 
tive. There has been the view that God has 
spoken through a plenarily inspired Book, 
which should be and is the rule of faith 
and practice and the depository of all 
truth. There is the further view that God 
speaks directly through the Holy Spirit 
to every child of His, in every generation, 
who is willing to hear His voice. These 
views each have had tremendous influence 
on the life and character and conduct of 
men in their attitudes toward God and to- 
ward each other. 

The Catholic Church stoutly maintains 
that its pope is the personal representative 
of God in the world and that he has all the 
authority of the Divine Sovereign in de- 
ciding questions, not only of religion, but 
also of science, philosophy, history, pol- 
itics, and everything else. This attitude 
and concept does not produce initiative, 
originality, and forceful character in the 
men and women who accept it. The Cath- 
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Youth cmd Truth 



olic Church has produced saints and piet- 
ists, but it has not produced great think- 
ers, nor great constructive leaders for the 
development of the world. It has not and 
it will not. It cannot. Progressive Cath- 
olics are so in spite of their religion, not 
because of it. 

Those who accept the view that God has 
transmitted to us His full will and purpose 
in our Bible are immediately confronted 
with an insuperable difficulty. For they 
forthwith find that there are ten other bi- 
bles accepted by the conscientious adher- 
ents of ten other living religions, every one 
of which makes the same claim of inspira- 
tion and infallibility which we make for 
our own Christian Scriptures. ~But in ad- 
dition to this difficulty, there is the tyr- 
anny of the written word. The letter kill- 
eth, but the spirit maketh alive, we are 
told. There is no doubt that our Scriptures 
are inspired and that they contain the 
word of God for the hearts of men, but 
there is not a living religion in the world 
[116] 



Removing Human Limitations 



to-day that has not emphasized some im- 
perishable modicum of truth for the uplift 
and betterment of human life. It is no 
more comforting to the human heart to 
think that God spoke in ages past to men 
and women, devout and consecrated, and 
since has ceased to speak any message to 
His people, than it is to accept the view 
that God made the universe in six days 
and then quit His work. 

The third view sets no limitation on 
God's willingness or ability to speak to His 
people, and it positively affirms that He 
has spoken to them in every generation 
past and that He continues to speak to 
them to-day. The difficulty is that we our- 
selves become so absorbed in the common- 
place things of life, in the trivialities and 
inconsequentialities of life, that when the 
voice of God speaks, we interpret it to be 
thunder. Nevertheless we affirm our view 
that God has a message for every individ- 
ual and for every age, and that He con- 
tinues to speak this message through the 
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Youth and Truth 



agency of the Holy Spirit. The most dis- 
tinctive characteristic of the Christian re- 
ligion is this concept of the Holy Spirit 
constantly operative in the world and oc- 
cupying the same relationship to men's 
spirits as their senses occupy to their bod- 
ies. It would be folly on the part of God 
to give man senses enabling him to com- 
municate with the physical world and with 
his brother men, and not to make provision 
whereby man can communicate spiritually 
with God, and we may be absolutely as- 
sured that God is too wise to have com- 
mitted such folly. Theoretically, therefore, 
we may tentatively assume the inspiration 
of the Scriptures and the intercommunica- 
tion of God and man ; but we have the fur- 
ther witness of experience to fortify us 
in our conviction that God has spoken to 
men, that He does speak to men, and that, 
we may confidently assert it, He will con- 
tinue to speak to them, giving them en- 
larging conceptions of the universe and 
how it may be utilized, of men and how 
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Removing Human Limitations 



they should live with each other, and of 
God, His character, His conduct, and His 
relationships with His universe. 

(4) Finally, men have limited God in 
their thought as to the destiny He has or- 
dained for His universe of things and men. 
They have pictured to themselves a heaven 
of rest and song. They have imagined they 
will be possessed of perfect knowledge im- 
mediately upon their transfer from sen- 
tient to spiritual being. They have re- 
garded the universe as wicked, and men 
and women as totally depraved. They have 
felt that a new nature had to be incar- 
nated in each human soul before it could 
be entitled to citizenship in the Common- 
wealth of God, and they have taken a 
hopeless view of the future of God's world, 
expecting that it would grow worse and 
worse until finally He should be forced to 
destroy it because of sheer disappointment 
over its wickedness. 

These limitations on the designs and 
purposes of God have wrought havoc in 
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Youth and Truth 



human life and experience. Some men have 
assumed the attitude of indifference and of 
fatalism toward the problems and issues of 
life. Others have become denunciators of 
their fellows, rather than constructive up- 
builders of the social order through co- 
operation with them. Still others have in- 
vented for themselves a certain type of 
adult evangelism and insisted on certain 
experiences as evidence of fitness to enter 
the church and be rated as citizens in 
the Kingdom of God. In the meanwhile, 
the children of the race of whom Jesus 
said "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven" 
have been regarded as aliens from their 
Heavenly Father's house by these pious 
and devout theologians, and allowed to 
grow up without proper Christian nurture 
and culture, their inherent right. 

There is, however, a growing conviction 
on the part of spiritually minded leaders 
of the world that every human being is a 
spiritual child of God by a definite act of 
creation and that no matter how far an 

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Removing Human Limitations 



individual may stray from the Father's 
house and His standards of living, no force 
can destroy the relationship, the kinship of 
that soul to its Heavenly Father. This 
view is destined to exercise tremendous in- 
fluence in the programs, policies, and ob- 
jectives of Christian workers in the days 
that lie immediately ahead of us. We shall 
continue to need evangelism for those who 
have strayed from our Father's heart and 
home; but we shall also provide Christian 
nurture and Christian education in the 
home, in the community, in the church, 
and in our institutions of learning of both 
elementary and higher grade, whereby the 
spiritual nature of each individual life 
shall ripen into spiritual manhood and 
womanhood as naturally and as beauti- 
fully as the flowers of our gardens blossom 
and bloom to gladden our lives with their 
luxuriant fragrance. 

To the removal of any hampering hu- 
man limitations on the divine which have 
through the centuries retarded the prog- 
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Youth and Truth 



ress of the race, our youth must dedicate 
itself in the spirit of a new crusade, a cru- 
sade that shall bring freedom, enlarge- 
ment, and joyous hopefulness to every 
heart. Their training in science, their 
knowledge of history, their understanding 
of the processes of the mind, eminently 
qualify our modern youth for just this 
liberating and uplifting service. 



[122] 



CHAPTER VI 



TOWARD THE UNDERSTANDING OF JESUS 

TESUS is unique in human history. 



*J From His advent into the world all 
other events, before or after, are dated. 
He is the outstanding leader of the race. 
The supremacy of His greatness is undis- 
puted. There is none to compare with Him. 
But these things do not explain His grip 
on men. "The loneliness of genius" we fre- 
quently hear mention of ; but J esus was 
at home with everybody, and everybody 
was at home in His presence. He loved all 
men, even His bitterest enemies. His good- 
ness rather than His greatness is that 
which grips the heart, and His power to 
communicate to others the ability to do 
good puts Him in a class by Himself. 
Whatever He touched He elevated. He did 




[123] 



Youth and Truth 



not climb to higher things over the crushed 
hopes and aspirations of others. He lifted 
them up with Himself. Not competition, 
but fellowship, we have seen, was the fun- 
damental principle of His life-philosophy. 

His wisdom too qualifies Him to be the 
supreme leader of life. He came teaching. 
And what a teacher He was ! Time and 
again His mastery of the art of instruct- 
ing others has been expounded for us. We 
have been often told how that the manner 
of His presentation tallied ever with the 
laws of the human mind, and that too in a 
day entirely ignorant of those laws. We 
have been constantly reminded also of His 
remarkably effective use of illustrations, 
of His rare skill in employing questions, 
of His wonderful story-telling ability, of 
His utilization of experience to illustrate 
an advance in knowledge, of His delimita- 
tion of His themes to a single focal issue, 
of His marvelous success in driving home 
His lessons to a definite conclusion, of His 
employment of object-lessons so that the 
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Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



object should be forgotten in its elucida- 
tion of the truth He was expounding, of 
His recognition that the finest fruit of 
education comes through personal associa- 
tion of teacher and pupil, of His embodi- 
ment in Himself of the truth He enunci- 
ated, of the social motivation of His life 
and message, of His authority in His sub- 
ject, of His supreme faith as the basis of 
His every utterance. Any one of these 
themes could worthily and profitably en- 
gage us for detailed discussion. They are 
His teaching characteristics, but His pre- 
eminence as a teacher rests on certain 
great principles or attitudes toward life 
and knowledge, principles and attitudes 
characteristically His own. Youth rejoices 
to know these differentiating qualities of 
the Master Teacher. 

Methods are good, and their mastery is 
well, but the great teacher ever has great 
truths for His pupils, and in every such 
teacher method is forgotten in the illumi- 
nation of the larger view of life and its re- 
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Youth and Truth 



lationships which great teaching always 
involves. Not as a user of correct methods 
of pedagogy, but as the expounder of 
spiritual truth therefore, Jesus trans- 
formed those who came under the spell of 
His teaching. His ability as such an in- 
structor illuminated every aspect of life. 
He was the spiritual teacher in perfection. 
Such a teacher necessarily touches every 
realm of experience. Naturally therefore 
he came into conflict with accepted views. 
He did not camouflage in such instances. 
"It hath been said," we find Him declar- 
ing, "but I say unto you." He looked upon 
His larger view of life and of God, not as 
a destruction of former views, but as their 
fulfilment. He accepted the developmental, 
the evolutionary view of life. "First the 
blade; then the ear; and then the full 
corn in the ear." Such a dynamic teacher 
as He the world had never seen, nor is it 
ever likely to see again. A major business 
of youth to-day as in every day is to un- 
derstand and apply the principles He 
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Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



taught. We do not comprehend His teach- 
ings fully even yet. Each succeeding year 
brings us a deeper insight into His mean- 
ings. 

Jesus did not put shackles on the human 
mind, nor did He regard life for the Chris- 
tian as a static thing. He came to bring 
men life, a more abundant life. Progress 
was the characteristic attitude of His 
mind. But He did lay down the great prin- 
ciples and attitudes toward God, toward 
men, toward the universe, toward the social 
order, which progressively and consis- 
tently applied will bring in the Kingdom 
of God. Until that Kingdom has fully 
come, He expected His followers in every 
generation to maintain the attitude of 
growth toward the institutions and philos- 
ophies of life. So only can life be dynamic. 
So only can progress come. 

Jesus found Himself in collision with 
the views and attitudes of the Jewish re- 
ligious leaders of His day. His view of 
childhood, for example, collided diametri- 
[127] 



Youth and Truth 



cally with that which was entertained by 
His nation's religious teachers. Even in 
this twentieth century since His advent 
Christian people do not fully comprehend 
it. They certainly do not act upon it. Chil- 
dren exist for their parents, said the pa- 
rental wisdom and practice of His times. 
Jesus taught the opposite. Wisdom then 
regarded children as born in sin and aliens 
from God. But Jesus said, "of such is the 
Kingdom of Heaven." Pious parents in 
those days considered it their highest spir- 
itual service to make their children like 
themselves. Jesus said unless ye "become 
as little children, ye shall not enter into the 
Kingdom of Heaven." No wonder little 
children have always loved Jesus. He has 
redeemed them in a double sense. 

But what are the implications of this 
teaching for our youth to-day? We are 
now in the midst of the remaking of edu- 
cational method in terms of child-life. 
Education has been adult-centered and 
information-aimed. Our youth are de- 
[128] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



termined to make it child-centric and 
experience-determinated. Pedagogy now is 
alert to discover the unfolding powers and 
interests of the child's mind. The curricu- 
lum of the future is not to be a hard and 
fast group of subjects, but highly elec- 
tive and personal. Vocational guidance is 
to be recognized as a most profitable serv- 
ice to the young, not the kind of guidance 
that undertakes to force the guide's view 
on the young man or woman, but that 
conscientiously seeks to elicit the soul's 
own aptitude and to fan the spark of its 
inspiration into the flame of consecrated 
endeavor. The new conception of education 
is that it should result in personality, not 
individuality. Individuality is selfish. Per- 
sonality is social and altruistic. It is based 
on service. 

Education that is child-centric and de- 
termined by experience is not to be limited 
to the schools nor to formal instruction. 
Every act of life leaves its educational 
precipitate in character. The home is a 
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Youth and Truth 



basic educational institution. So is the 
playground. So is the social order in all its 
manifold contacts with life. So is the 
church. Education viewed from the stand- 
point of childhood is teaching us how to 
live with and for each other and unto God. 
And so education is Christian idealism en- 
riched by experience practically applied 
in the nurture of life. Its great aim is the 
production of Christian character. To- 
ward this end all learning, all teaching, all 
direction and motivation of conduct con- 
verge. According to this conception educa- 
tion cannot profitably be divorced from 
religion. Education is itself properly con- 
ceived as religious, and religion is educa- 
tional in process and manifestation. 

Christians must therefore view with fa- 
vor any proposal to bring religion and 
education into closer affinity. Our public 
schools cannot teach religion. Our Sunday- 
schools are admittedly inadequate to meet 
the requirements of a complete program of 
religious education, though they can help 
[130] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



and have helped in that direction. There is 
need for week-day religious instruction, 
and the need is being supplied in hundreds 
of centers to-day and by several excel- 
lent methods of organization and adminis- 
tration. The great educational need of 
present-day American Protestantism is the 
erection of a system of religious education, 
paralleling our public schools, and equally 
efficient. Eventually this system will come. 
It will come because childhood and youth 
need conduct motivated and activated in 
terms of Christian truth and Christian 
idealism. Jesus made them the center of 
interest educationally. In childhood and 
youth is the hope of the world and of the 
Kingdom. When our educational system 
beomes truly life-wide and child-centric, 
it will recognize the exalted place of Chris- 
tian nurture in the development of the 
Kingdom of God. The real achievement of 
education will then be seen to be the keep- 
ing of those born right with God ever 
conscious of this relationship with Him. 
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Youth and Truth 



Christian education is destined to become 
a most potent method of evangelization. 

Jesus' view of the relationship of con- 
duct and life-principles is as stimulating 
and as revolutionary as His view of child- 
hood. It is the logical, the inevitable corol- 
lary of His view of the child's relationship 
to the Kingdom. Children cannot compre- 
hend doctrine. Adults even have difficulty 
in grasping the significance of many teach- 
ings of Christian theology. The practice of 
Protestant churches, generally speaking 
and particularly in America, has been to 
wait until children come to the point of un- 
derstanding the doctrines of the faith be- 
fore accepting them as members of Christ's 
Kingdom. Doctrine is the basis of Chris- 
tian character, they have said. But Jesus 
regarded children as born into His Fa- 
ther's Kingdom. He considered it the duty 
of adults to train them to live as Chris- 
tians, the doctrine at the proper time tak- 
ing care of itself in the normal process of 
ripening experience and in a system of 
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Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



instruction consonant therewith. In John 
7:17 we hear Him saying, "If any man 
will do his will, he shall know of the doc- 
trine" — the very antithesis this of the 
Protestant program of Kingdom enlarge- 
ment. But Jesus is right. Men lived before 
they philosophized about it. Men acted 
from right motives before they reduced 
them to moral and ethical systems. Life 
precedes theory. It is religious living we 
need, and not knowledge about religion. 
There is a vital difference between doing 
and knowing the truth. Christian living 
makes Christian doctrines clear. 

This viewpoint of the Master tallies 
with the modern teaching of psychology, 
that life is a unity and that present in 
every experience is a cross-section of every 
function of the soul. We are not able to 
separate our life into departments, label- 
ing one moral, another social, a third re- 
ligious, and the like. We function as a 
unity in every experience. Religion there- 
fore is not an extraneous something; it is 
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Youth and Truth 



a natural and normal quality of the entire 
soul, ineradicable and eternal. But the 
Christian religion has a history, is a rec- 
ord of the religious experiences of many 
persons, and is also a revealed system of 
truth in many particulars. This history, 
these experiences of God, this system of 
revealed truth, it is the inalienable right of 
every child to know. We find ourselves 
again confronted with the necessity of an 
adequate system of religious education 
that shall supply the growing life with the 
Christian nurture suited to the develop- 
ing soul. It is nowhere recorded of Jesus 
that He held a public evangelizing serv- 
ice or that He "drew the net" after any 
public discourse, not even after His great 
Sermon on the Mount. His disciples were 
hand-picked. Teaching was His method of 
recruiting the Kingdom, even with refer- 
ence to adults. Youth is thoroughly com- 
mitted to the educational method. 

The church has not applied the Mas- 
ter's principle of deed as the basis of doc- 
[134] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



trine, of practice as precedent to theory 
in moral and spiritual progress. Neither 
has the educational practice of the schools 
as yet come under the complete influence 
of His precept. The laboratory method of 
the natural sciences, and to a limited ex- 
tent employed also in the social and phil- 
osophic sciences, is a stride in the right 
direction. Laboratories in religious educa- 
tion are just beginning. But experimenta- 
tion, even where it is accepted as the basic 
method of learning, is often regarded as 
only a proof of the theory already studied 
in the preceding class period. To be 
educational in the highest, best sense, ex- 
perimentation should lead to theory, the 
laboratory should precede the class-room 
discussions. The project method holds the 
key to education's future. For Edison in 
his laboratory, as for every creative sci- 
entist in the catalogue of the world's great 
scholars, this has been the method, though 
the name by which we now know it is of 
recent origin. Experimentation is the only 
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Youth and Truth 



way for the growth and enlargement of 
any field of knowledge. The discovery of 
vast continents of truth rests on the adop- 
tion of Christ's great principle of the re- 
lation of practice to theory, of deed to 
doctrine, by the investigators and schol- 
ars of the world. The enunciation of such 
a view makes Him the preeminent leader 
of the educational thinkers of the world. 

But it is in His conception of truth that 
His preeminence as a teacher reaches its 
climax and makes its strongest appeal to 
youth. Jesus revealed God, as we have 
seen, as the loving Heavenly Father, as 
immanent in His world and as transcen- 
dent above it ; that is, as greater than His 
world. He revealed God not only as the 
Creator of the world, but as vitally and 
perpetually interested in its progress and 
development. Whatever men do should be 
with the express purpose of glorifying 
God. Now men in those days had an idea 
that singing and praying and offering sac- 
rifices and paying tithes were special 
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Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



means of glorifying God. Men to-day have 
quit offering sacrifices, and some of them 
are so stingy that they have never begun 
to tithe, but they continue to consider 
that song and prayer and public worship 
and grace at meat and family prayers and 
testimony in meeting are the means by 
which we glorify God. How amazingly dif- 
ferent and also how wonderfully stimulat- 
ing the view of Jesus! His view appeals 
irresistibly to youth, who think of life 
in terms of adventure and discovery. 

According to this Teacher, when men 
study the heavens and map them, learning 
the times and seasons of the planets, re- 
ducing the meteors and the comets and the 
northern lights and all the other phenom- 
ena of the sky to a system, thus making 
possible the navigation of the seas and the 
air, they are glorifying God. Likewise 
when men study animal life and reduce 
to an understandable system the laws of 
biologic growth from the embryonic pro- 
toplasm to the body of the most intricately 
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Youth and Truth 



complex mammal, they are but thinking 
God's thoughts after Him, to revert to 
Kepler again. They are glorifying God. 
So too when a captain of industry discov- 
ers a better process of manufacturing any 
article useful for men's life, or an engineer 
constructs a tube under a river saving 
hours and hours of time for thousands and 
thousands daily who must get over to the 
other side, God is being glorified. Jesus 
revealed God as interested in all our life, 
its every experience. 

But He did more: He revealed Him as 
the author of truth, of all truth. He de- 
clared that God's Holy Spirit should lead 
men into all truth. What then becomes of 
that age-long notion of the conflict be- 
tween faith and men's mental powers, be- 
tween science and religion? What must 
God think of the Scopes trial? God is the 
author of our faith as of our mental pow- 
ers. He is the author of scientific as well 
as of religious truth. Is God in conflict 
with Himself? How absurd! But when re- 
[138] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



ligious dogmatists deposit some doctrine 
that conflicts with the facts of God's uni- 
verse, and when scientific dogmatists pro- 
pose some theory that opposes our experi- 
ence of God, what are we to do? We are 
to look the issue squarely in the face and 
set out to discover the truth. Very likely 
both sets of dogmatists are partially right 
and partially wrong. It is our duty to dis- 
cover the truth. God expects it of us. To 
do so is to glorify Him. To do so is to ar- 
rive at unity, an absolute necessity in a 
spiritual world. 

Truth, J esus taught, is a growing thing. 
Progress is its outstanding characteristic. 
We find this true of all truth ; religious as 
well as scientific. The conception of God in 
the opening chapters of Genesis is not the 
conception of Him that Jesus revealed. 
The morality of David is not the morality 
of Paul. Christians to-day do not condone 
slavery, as did the Christians of the first 
Christian century, nor is our conception of 
womanhood the same as theirs. Paul coun- 
[139] 



Youth and Truth 



seled obedience to the Roman emperor, but 
no Christian to-day would tolerate a Nero. 
There has been progress in Christian 
truth, and this progress will continue, till 
every knee shall bow and every tongue 
confess. And when all truth in every realm 
that touches the life of man is finally 
known, it will be harmonious and comple- 
mentary. We have our conflicts now be- 
cause we are ignorant. When perfect 
knowledge comes, all conflicts will have 
disappeared, and only the unified truth of 
God will abide. In giving to men this con- 
ception of the unity and harmony of all 
truth, and in commissioning them to seek 
for it under the leadership of God's Holy 
Spirit, Jesus shines forth as the preemi- 
nent patron of truth, as the preeminent 
teacher and redeemer of the race. 

Very naturally this upstanding figure 
in human history has occasioned limitless 
discussion as to His personality. He was 
a man, and yet more than man. All is 
clear, however, if we hold fast to His view 
[140] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



of God and of truth and understand 
God's way of dealing with men. God, He 
taught, is above His world. He made it 
and can alter it at His will. God is also in 
His world and in touch with all its activi- 
ties and interests. The immanence and the 
transcendence of God, these make clear 
and understandable the incarnation; and 
when that is understood, evolution, the 
trinity, immortality as evidenced by 
Christ's resurrection, and the other essen- 
tial doctrines and revelations of the Chris- 
tian system become as clear as the noonday 
sun with no cloud to obscure the view. 

How say some then that the acceptance 
of the evolutionary principle makes man a 
brute and renders the incarnation an un- 
tenable belief? Such do greatly err, not 
understanding the Scriptures nor Gold's 
method of conducting His universe. To 
begin with, the Scriptures themselves are 
a progressive revelation of God. No man 
who can read and understand can fail to 
realize the marvelous expansion in spirit- 
[141] 



Youth and Truth 



ual vision that has taken place between 
Paul and Moses. It had to be so. God could 
have made men full-fledged in spiritual de- 
velopment, but He chose the evolutionary 
way. Evolution is God's method of cre- 
ation. In every generation He has spoken 
to men as they were able to comprehend, 
and even now the Holy Spirit interprets to 
us the larger conceptions of our Master's 
teachings. The immanence of God explains 
the rest, for this truth accounts for the 
spirit indwelling in man's body. When we 
say that we are made in God's image, we 
mean that we are spiritual beings in es- 
sence and that the body is only our tem- 
porary place of abode. Our spirits are the 
special creation of our Father God. Just 
so He placed in the body to which men 
gave the name Jesus the eternal Son of 
His bosom. The incarnation thus becomes 
as natural for God as our own creation in 
His image. When these spirits of ours 
have been created, each one of them a def- 
inite act of God's creation, and inserted in 
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Toward tlie Understanding of Jesus 



our bodies, they too in their upward spirit- 
ual climb become subject to that universal 
law of God's progress for His world, the 
law of evolution, of growth and develop- 
ment. 

And why should the trinity trouble any 
heart? I am myself a trinity, and what is 
more I am triune. I am capable of affec- 
tion, of thought, of action. I am soul with 
heart, mind, and will. Yet I am not three 
persons. I am one. What my affectional 
nature is to me, that the Father is to the 
Godhead ; what my mental power is to me, 
that the Son is to the Godhead, the expres- 
sive Word of the Father's love. What my 
will is to my conduct in ordering my life, 
that the Holy Spirit is to the Godhead, the 
guiding Comforter of the Father's holy 
eternal purpose for His children, speaking 
to their individual hearts and consciences 
the yearning message of the Father's will 
and purpose and design. The Triunity of 
God represents the three essential quali- 
ties of the divine nature, His inherent 
[143] 



Youth and Truth 



modes of being. The Trinity rests upon 
this conception and connotes the three- 
fold manifestation of the Divine in His 
relations to men. Thus does the Trinity 
confirm our kinship to our Father. We 
are in His image. And we are to under- 
stand Him as we do ourselves and ap- 
proach Him as we do one another, with the 
reverence due His exalted station, and yet 
as a Person of like nature with our own, 
though infinitely magnified and pure and 
holy and loving. Such is our Father. He 
is worthy to be our God. 

Christ's resurrection as the proof of our 
spiritual immortality too has been the oc- 
casion of misgiving on the part of many. 
Recently I was talking with an old man 
at a Christian assembly of which he was a 
member. He expressed his doubt with ref- 
erence to the future life. He feared it 
might be with Him as with sheep. He chose 
this figure because he is a stock-grower. 
I asked if it was then with him as with 
the sheep. He readily responded nega- 
[144] 



Toward the Understanding of Jesus 



tively. "Why," I inquired, "has man made 
progress in his mastery of the universe 
and in his idealistic conceptions?" He like- 
wise readily answered that it must be due 
to something in man not in the sheep. That 
something is our likeness to God; it is 
our soul. God is eternal, and that spark of 
His likeness in men is also eternal. Immor- 
tality is therefore an absolute essential in 
a universe where spirit is an abiding fact 
and force. Paul was right in the high esti- 
mate he placed upon Christ's resurrection. 
If Christ be not raised, He has no abiding 
spiritual existence and is consequently 
valueless as the Redeemer of men. Have no 
doubts or fears therefore with reference 
to the continuation of the spiritual life. 
We are in God's own image, and we shall 
live with Him forever. 

That Jesus and God in the person of 
the Holy Spirit are spiritually with us in 
our daily life, however, is the most satis- 
fying experience a Christian can have. He 
is really closer to us now than He was to 
[145] 



Youth and Truth 



His disciples. Then His body separated 
Him from them. He now dwells with us, 
with our own spirit, in our own body. Thus 
is the incarnation reenacted in the daily 
experience of each humblest Christian. 
Christ's trustful followers are to-day His 
body. All we need to do is to open the 
door of our heart and to realize His pres- 
ence. "Behold, I stand at the door and 
knock," He says; "if any man hear My 
voice and open the door, I will come in 
unto him and will sup with him and he 
with Me." 



[146] 



CHAPTER VII 



THE BIBLE AND THE CHURCH 

TN our present-day youth, psychology, 
science, and religion have met. Psy- 
chology, we say, has to do with the mental 
man, science with the physical man, reli- 
gion with the spiritual man. But these are 
not three men ; they are one. Our youth is 
seeking a basis of unity, inclusive unity, 
a synthesis of these three major concerns 
of life. The controversy that rages around 
this quest for unity is comparable to the 
Arian controversy of the fourth Christian 
century. Tremendous consequences hang 
on the issue. We cannot ignore it, we can- 
not sidestep it, we must reverently face 
it, and out of this new trinity of vital in- 
terests we must weave a new unity for the 
orientation of our life. 

[147] 



Youth and Truth 



Youth instinctively and intuitively feels 
that harmony must underlie all the ulti- 
mate values of experience. If there is con- 
flict, it is because finalities have not been 
achieved. Youth knows, for example, that 
there is unity in the view of psychology. 
Once upon a time psychologists taught 
that feeling, thought, and will were sep- 
arate faculties of the mind, warring so to 
speak with each other for the ascendancy 
of every situation. Now it is experimen- 
tally demonstrated that in every experi- 
ence feeling, thought, and will are present, 
and that the mental life cannot be de- 
partmentalized in accordance with the 
compartment arrangement of the old psy- 
chology. 

A similar unity prevails in the realm of 
the material world. Our scientists have 
pushed their way from the molecule to 
the atom, to the electron and the proton. 
The alchemist felt that the baser metals 
could be transmuted into gold. Modern 
chemistry proves he was right, because 
[148] 



The Bible and the Church 



what we formerly considered separate and 
distinct chemical elements we know now 
to be various manifestations of a primor- 
dial entity to which we give the name "elec- 
trons" as signifying negative charges, and 
"protons" to indicate positive charges, 
whether in the animate or inanimate realm. 
We do not know the laws governing elec- 
trons and protons sufficiently yet to dog- 
matize, but we may safely posit as sci- 
entifically demonstrated that the material 
universe is a unity. 

There must be unity too in religious 
experience and revelation. The discovery 
of this unity is an outstanding need of the 
human heart. The youth of the world have 
dedicated themselves to its quest. That 
happy realization for which the sages and 
seers have longed and of which the poets 
have sung hangs upon its elucidation. We 
may here affirm youth's deep and abiding 
conviction that this unity is demonstrable 
and that eventually it will be the glad 
possession of every man. We may there- 
[149] 



Youth and Truth 



fore postpone further discussion of it till 
our next chapter, which deals wholly with 
this deeply vital search. 

And the consistent mind will not hesitate 
to affirm its conviction that truth is unity, 
as we have seen to be the teaching of Jesus. 
All truth necessarily proceeded, according 
to Jesus, from the same source. There can 
be no truth in one realm of life, nature, 
or experience in conflict with other truth. 
Truth is relational and ultimate and final. 
Truth must therefore be harmonious. 
Does there appear to be a conflict between 
psychology and religion, between science 
and religion, between experience and rev- 
elation? Then we have not yet arrived at 
the truth, because in the truth every realm 
of knowledge and of experience finds har- 
monious relationship, discovers a final and 
ultimate unity. 

This ultimate and final harmony is to 
be found by diligent research and investi- 
gation, a research that is to include in its 
scope the past, the present, and the future. 
[150] 



The Bible and the Church 



All the evidence to be had is the preroga- 
tive of the truth-seeker in his efforts dil- 
igently and faithfully to think God's 
thoughts after Him. The formulation of 
hypotheses when the tangible facts fail to 
bridge a chasm, so to speak, is a legitimate 
method of procedure. Reason and faith 
therefore should both enter properly into 
this experience of hypothesis-making, and 
one is a corrective for the other. No human 
ability is to be disregarded or depreciated 
in the effort to discover truth. 

It is manifest that these conceptions of 
unity in all the realms of experience and 
of progress in the attainment of truth con- 
flict with some of the tenets of the Church 
and with the authority of the Bible as some 
interpret it to-day. The faith once and for 
all delivered to the saints, the authorita- 
rians in religion say, is found finally de- 
scribed in the Bible, which is the perfect 
book because plenarily inspired by God. 
It is this conflict which has precipitated 
the Fundamentalist-Modernist contro- 
[151] 



Youth and Truth 



versy of our time, a controversy which 
makes it hard for the Church to hold the 
young people, the consequences of which 
we are not able fully to forecast. 

The Protestant Reformation changed 
the seat of authority from the Pope to the 
Bible. Our age is endeavoring to locate it 
in the leadership of the Holy Spirit, in- 
terpreting the Bible to the individual and 
to the Church. This view will not under- 
mine the Bible's authority. It will magnify 
it. This view does not belittle God, nor does 
it oust Him from His world. It welcomes 
His leadership and companionship in 
every experience of the human heart and 
aspiration, recognizing Him as a present 
Personality in the universe of which He 
is the author. This makes possible the 
unity of life, knowledge, and experience, 
and leads the way to the comprehension 
and discovery of that ultimate reality to 
which we give the name of truth. The 
youth of the world hold this conception of 
[152] 



The Bible and the Church 



the relationship of spiritual truth to all 
other truth, and their disciplined minds 
will not permit them honestly to entertain 
any other view. 

This view makes it obligatory on the 
earnest seeker for the truth to search the 
Scriptures diligently. Such a search will 
reveal a stately and progressive and ma- 
jestic advancement in the understanding 
of God, His nature, His purposes, His 
aspirations for man. When such a truth- 
seeker finds God revealed respectively as 
a God of vengeance, of justice, of mercy, 
and of love, his soul rejoices in the wis- 
dom of the process. When he finds the con- 
ception of God as partial to a single group 
enlarging into the Christian view of the 
loving Father of all mankind, again his 
heart gives thanks, and a resolution pos- 
sesses him to help propagate this idea to 
the ends of the earth. Such good news 
ought not to be other than the inspiring 
possession of the race. So are the mission- 
[153] 



Youth and Truth 



aries of religion to be found in the youth 
of the world. It has always been thus. It 
will continue so to be. 

Again if Biblical scholarship reveals to 
this same reverent truth-seeker that there 
are errors in the Scriptures, statements 
that conflict with the known facts of the 
physical universe, with the habits and na- 
tures of animals, and with other state- 
ments in the record itself, he does not re- 
ject the Bible. He recognizes that the 
statements were made in good faith by the 
men who wrote them, and that they were 
accepted as stating the truth according to 
the knowledge and standards of the time, 
but that God has in our day led us into a 
better understanding of these matters. He 
will have no quarrel with the man, how- 
ever, who accepts the record as it is writ- 
ten in the Bible, and who in his notion of 
loyalty to it rejects the record as it is 
written in God's handiwork, the physical 
world, and in man's experience, the human 
world. He will not quarrel with him. All 
[154] 



The Bible and the Church 



he asks is that he be allowed to under- 
stand God and His ways and plans and 
purposes as the Holy Spirit gives him 
the light. 

Few young people are hostile to the re- 
ligious life. Innately we are religious, not 
by a single instinct, but, as we have seen, 
by the synthesis of all our instincts. It is 
in the realm of religion therefore that we 
will find the truly ultimate and synthetic 
unity of truth. That is not ultimate truth 
which leaves God out of the account, for 
He is the author of all truth, and in Him 
we shall find true unity if we find it at 
all. Our youth, trained in the scientific 
method and passionately devoted to the 
discovery of truth, recognize the validity, 
the necessity for this, and they are anxious 
to be religious, to know and to experience 
God, and to do His will. But when they are 
told that the Christian religion offers its 
salvation only to those who can believe 
certain historical facts and accept a cer- 
tain interpretation of theology, and when 
[155] 



Youth and Truth 



they cannot honestly believe the facts nor 
accept the theological interpretation, be- 
cause they have knowledge of God's ways 
in other realms that do not harmonize with 
these conditions, what are they to do? 
They will not recant their facts. They will 
not dishonestly accede to the demands of 
the ecclesiastical authorities. What there- 
fore are they to do? 

They may do one of three things. They 
may neglect religion and devote themselves 
to science and philosophy. Their attitude 
in that case would be indifferent. Regard- 
ing religion as a pious superstition, they 
would consign it to children, and to super- 
stitious old women, and to the imbecile and 
ignorant of the race. Such an attitude 
would be most regrettable for two reasons. 
Their discovery of truth can never be com- 
plete without the contribution of religion. 
They would thus defeat their quest for 
truth in advance and enter upon a con- 
quest without hope of victory. It is doubt- 
ful if youth can afford to pay such a price 
[156] 



The Bible and the Church 



for the peace of mind they would thus se- 
cure for themselves outside the religious 
controversy of the times. But equally re- 
grettable would be the loss that the Church 
would sustain by their neglect of it and of 
its function in human society. The social 
order needs the Church, the institution 
typifying the intimate fellowship of God 
and man, in whose ministry man is enabled 
to express the God-life within him. It 
would be a lamentable pity should our 
youth neglect the Church or treat it with 
indifference. 

Or they may withdraw from the Church 
and undertake to destroy its influence in 
men's lives and in society. Those who thus 
decide to take the attitude of hostility and 
open warfare against the Church will act 
regrettably and inconsistently. Every in- 
terest of life tends to express itself in an 
institution that will outlive the persons 
now composing it or ministered to by it, 
and so will be able to pass its ideals on to 
the succeeding generations. Domestic af- 
[157] 



Youth and Truth 



fection thus expresses itself in the home, 
justice in the state, economic welfare in 
industry, learning in the school, leisure in 
games and sports, and religion in the 
Church. If we succeed in destroying the 
Church, we would perforce have to reor- 
ganize it, since religion is not something 
we can ultimately outgrow, but rather a 
permanent and an abiding interest in hu- 
man life. They will act regrettably further 
in that they will be perpetuating by their 
persecutions the very weaknesses they 
would eradicate from the Church. The 
blood of the martyrs has always been the 
seed of any cause. Those who withdraw 
from the fellowship of the Church and 
fight it from the outside will therefore have 
only themselves to thank for the perpetua- 
tion of the very weaknesses and faults 
which they would seek to eradicate. Again 
we may say it would be a lamentable pity 
for our youth to assume from the outside 
the attitude of open hostility toward the 
Church. 

[158] 



The Bible and the Church 



Or they may take the attitude of con- 
structive criticism from the inside, remain- 
ing in the fellowship of the Church as the 
best available means of giving forceful and 
effective expression to the spiritual life 
and conscientiously and tolerantly striv- 
ing for the correction of the weaknesses 
and faults that are to them the objection- 
able features of the organized religion of 
our day. It appears that the confidence 
youth has in the ultimate triumph of truth 
would lead it heartily to assume this third 
attitude. It conserves all the good in the 
Church, recognizes it as an essential 
agency of the social order and of the King- 
dom of God, and affords the best avenue 
of approach to bringing to the human 
heart the liberty it must have in its quest 
for the truth of the spiritual life in har- 
monious unity with all other realms of 
truth. It will be a lamentable pity if the 
youth of our day fails to take this attitude 
toward the Church. 

Assuming that this will be its attitude, 
[159] 



Youth and Truth 



the question immediately arises as to what 
reforms these truth-seekers among our 
youth will aim to achieve. It is certain that 
they will find the prime essence of the 
Christian life in a direct and personal ex- 
perience of God, and it is also equally 
certain that the best evidence they can give 
of this experience will be found to be in 
the service they shall render through Chris- 
tian living. Religion will not be a creed to 
these young people, but a life ; though un- 
dergirding that life there will necessarily 
be certain foundational conceptions. It is 
these conceptions that will give power and 
validity to their Christian discipleship. 

These conceptions can be briefly sum- 
marized under a few great principles or 
attitudes, leaving the individual to fill up 
the categories as his study of the Scrip- 
tures and his experience of God through 
the guidance of the Holy Spirit shall cause 
him to comprehend the truth of the uni- 
verse in its fullness and beauty. This creed 
of youth need not contain a detailed the- 
[160] 



The Bible and the Church 



ology, respecting which there will always 
desirably be differences of opinion. It will 
only be necessary that it tell us who God 
is, who man is, what the world is, what the 
aim of this present life is, what destiny is, 
what the Bible is, what the Church is, what 
the terms of admission into the Church 
should be, what privileges the citizens of 
the Kingdom are to possess with reference 
to its nature and growth. We may state 
these concepts briefly, and they will be 
their own vindication before the bar of 
enlightened human conscience and like- 
wise before the tribunal of divine truth. 

The Creed of Youth 

God, the Father, is the loving spiritual 
parent of the human race and the Creator 
of the physical world. 

God, the Son, is the man Christ Jesus, 
revealing His Father as the loving spir- 
itual Personality He is, and through this 
revelation He is constantly and eternally 
the Redeemer of man. 

[161] 



Youth cmd Truth 



God, the Holy Spirit, is present in His 
world and the ever-present interpreter of 
the divine love and thought to the human 
heart. 

Man is the child of God, created in His 
own spiritual image, and brother to every 
other child of God in all the world, and 
under obligation to do all that may become 
the child of such a Father to express his 
brotherhood in helpful living. 

This present world is God's handiwork, 
meant to be an arena to develop the pow- 
ers and make happy the life of God's 
children. 

The aim of this present life is to make 
the social order in all its individual units, 
as also in all its organizations and insti- 
tutions, correspond with the will of God 
for men. Our purpose as God's children 
should be to transform this world into-Jthe 
Kingdom of God. . r 

Human destiny is comprehended, in the 
hope that God's ^hMreii w^ sq . live in 
this present world that th^v will jje gua^- 

10° 



The Bible and the Church 



fied to enter into the further joys of their 
Maker when the spirit which man essen- 
tially is has been released from this tene- 
ment of the body by the transition which 
we call, for the lack of a better term, death. 

The Bible contains God's Word, but not 
His only Word. He has spoken in all ages 
to all who would hear. He is speaking to- 
day, chiefly through His Scriptures. Some 
have heard more perfectly than others. 
Their messages are in our Christian Bible, 
which contains for us all the rule of faith 
and practice we shall ever need, subject to 
the Holy Spirit's interpretation. This 
creed we are now writing is useless, since it 
is all contained in our true creed, the Bible. 

The Church is the organized institution 
through which the followers of Christ un- 
dertake to express His will in the world. 
Jesus is the head of the Church. The 
Church is His bride. 

They are entitled to the fellowship of 
the Christian Church and to membership 
in the Kingdom of God who exhibit in 
[163] 



Youth and Truth 



their lives vital piety fruiting in Chris- 
tian character. No other test of Church 
membership can rightfully be employed to 
exclude any professing follower of Christ 
from fellowship in the Church, the body of 
Christ. 

And every citizen of the Kingdom of 
God has the duty and privilege as well as 
the right to be his own interpreter of God's 
will and purpose and plan. The liberty of 
conscience and the right of private judg- 
ment can never be abridged. They are the 
inherent right and duty of each and of 
all, and should be cheerfully and toler- 
antly accorded to each by all, recognizing 
that the chief value of the Christian way 
is found in the life we live rather than in 
the creed we profess or the theological sys- 
tem to which we subscribe. 

In this creed of youth we have endeav- 
ored not so much to express religious ten- 
ets as we have hoped to voice religious 
attitudes. Given the right attitudes, we 
[164] 



The Bible and the Church 



may be veritably certain that the tenets 
will progressively express themselves, re- 
lating new knowledge and enlarging con- 
ceptions in any realm of life and experi- 
ence with every other sphere of truth in 
God's universe. This creed does not leave 
us bound, but rather liberates our powers 
and bids us set out with due appreciation 
of the issues involved on the challenging, 
alluring quest of the unity of God's truth, 
assured that we shall never find it apart 
from Himself and the revelation of Him- 
self given us in Jesus Christ, recorded for 
us in our Christian Scriptures and inter- 
preted for us by the Holy Spirit. 

This creed of youth permits them to 
"hold fast to that which is good" in the 
present religious outlook and conception. 
It also makes it their duty to "prove all 
things." It is based on three comforting 
assurances of the Bible : that "when the 
Spirit of truth is come, He will lead you 
into all truth," and that "where the spirit 
of the Lord is, there is liberty," liberty to 
[165] 



Youth and Truth 



pursue the truth to ultimate and harmo- 
nious unity in the mind and heart and will 
of God. And thirdly, on that most assur- 
ing utterance of our Master, "I have yet 
many things to say unto you, but ye can- 
not bear them now." 

This pursuit of truth is not an easy 
task. Stout hearts and true, diligent and 
persevering, will it require of those valiant, 
consecrated youth who shall enter upon 
its quest. Tact and commonsense and kind- 
liness and reverence must characterize all 
those who dedicate themselves to its serv- 
ice. And they will find comfort and inspir- 
ation as well as a becoming motto for 
their life's purpose in these splendid words 
of Tennyson: 

Let knowledge grow from more to more, 
But more of reverence in us dwell, 
That mind and heart according well, 
May make one music as before — but vaster. 



[166] 



CHAPTER VIII 



RELIGIOUS UNITY 

WE have seen that youth looks for the 
unity of truth. Youth with equal 
zest desires the unity of practice. As re- 
lates to religion, the unity of practice de- 
mands the abolition of sectarianism in 
the union of all believers and the discov- 
ery of a religion competent to meet the 
universal spiritual needs of mankind. The 
idealistic reforming spirit of youth can see 
no valid reason for postponing action in 
reference to either of these practical ne- 
cessities. 

A Universal Religion Needed. — There 
are eleven living religions, each with its 
Scriptures and followers and claiming to 
meet the religious needs of men and to re- 
ceive their validity from divine inspira- 
[167] 



Youth and Truth 



tion. The old view was to regard all of 
them except Judaism and Christianity as 
false religions and of the devil, and we 
Christians were not so sure about Judaism. 
A more careful scholarship and a saner 
understanding of God's relationship to the 
human soul has modified that attitude so 
that to-day all these living religions, as 
well as the countless others now dead that 
have served to bring men into conscious 
fellowship with the great First Cause, are 
regarded as messages of God to men cor- 
rupted by their own imperfect understand- 
ing, but sincere efforts at least to compre- 
hend His will and purpose and to interpret 
the same to men in such manner as to be 
the guide and inspiration of their life. 
This view is an inevitable corollary of the 
immanence of God. 

The oldest living religion is Hindu- 
ism, 1500 b. c, with Brahma as its chief 
deity. It is found in India, the land of its 
origin, has the Vedas as its sacred writ- 
ings, and numbers more than two hundred 
[168] 



Religious Unity 



million followers. Its distinctive truth is its 
affirmation of the immanence of the divine 
in the world. It regards human society as a 
divinely ordained structure and holds that 
the goal of existence is union with the 
divine. It is non-missionary and practically 
polytheistic. The doctrine of caste makes 
it especially distasteful to the mind ac- 
customed to democratic ideas. 

Judaism began in the twelfth century 
b. c. and numbers about eleven million ad- 
herents. Jehovah is its God, the Old Testa- 
ment its sacred book, and its characteristic 
teaching that salvation is obtained through 
obedience to the righteous God. The Jews 
have ceased to be missionary, though they 
are thoroughly monotheistic. They are 
scattered all over the world, but partic- 
ularly congregated in Russia and the 
United States. 

Five of the world's living religions arose 
within the century from 660 to 560 b. c. 
They are Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, Tao- 
ism, Jainism, and Buddhism. 

[169] 



Youth and Truth 



Shintoism is the national religion of 
Japan. It is aptly summarized as the re- 
ligion of nature-worship, emperor-worship, 
and purity. Its teaching that nature is a 
beautiful divine creation has made all 
Japanese into artists in appreciation if 
not in practice. It has sixteen million fol- 
lowers, and its chief sacred books are the 
Ko-ji-ki and Nihon-gi. 

Zoroastrianism, founded by Zoroaster in 
660 b. c, with Ahura Mazda as its deity 
and the Avesta as its Bible, is the smallest 
numerically of all the world's living re- 
ligions. It numbers about one hundred 
thousand adherents, who are found in 
Persia and India. Zoroastrianism has had 
considerable influence on Christianity. The 
Magi were Zoroastrians, and the Persian 
King Cyrus is described as Jehovah's Mes- 
siah (Isaiah 45:1) and as His shepherd 
(Isaiah 44:28). The idea of Satan came 
from this religion. Other prominent ideas 
present in both Zoroastrianism and our 
Christian Bible are angelology, demon- 
[170] 



Religious Unity 



ology, a great Saviour to come, the resur- 
rection, the judgment, and a definitely 
conceived future life. The characteristic 
teaching of this religion is that men 'in 
their struggle with evil may have the active 
cooperation of a cosmic goodness. . - V . 

Taoism is found in , Chin^a. It ."Jjras 
founded by Lao-tze and ^ its "'aeii^w^tfe 
Tao. Taoism nuinbers in its .ranks .some 
forty-three millipii. Its jBiJ$|e is the Xai^- 
Teh-King, J t ^s jt^e . religion of tK§f divine 
way, whiq^^pan should humbly follow. 



J ainism arose T iji x Indiar in the . year " 5S£ 
B r q r yg^h J^aJ^a v^a , u as v 'iounAer^ tJrig- 
ginajly it ^ad^AQi d[eity, but its founder ^s 

^gw Y y^hipf 47Mo°^5v^ f ^ scripture is the 
j^apa^ t an4,it -/h^s^a .milton^adherents. 
^koifjj^^j fT^^^i j ^ asceticism. .,£>elj|- 
r T^nijnciatpnris jjs ^ejthq$ of salyatiori.". . 

Bucjdhisni is, foun4 , in. the] East and £s 
F one pff ,the ;thrge .mjssj^nary^ religions of 
3 9^r[ o^y^-J^r^gin^^ it r $ad no^-dei^^but 



Youth and Truth 



others. In some forms Buddhism is revolt- 
ingly polytheistic. Its Bible is the Tri- 
pitka, and its adherents number one hun- 
dred and forty million. Buddhism is the 
religion of a peaceful, ethical self-culture. 
Selfishness, it teaches, is the root of all 
suffering. Salvation it offers through inner 
purity and self-discipline. Nirvana, the 
spiritual state in which individuality is 
"absorbed" into the great cosmic spirit, is 
the ultimate goal at which each devout 
Buddhist hopes finally to arrive. Bud- 
dhism originated in 560 b. c. 

Just nine years later, or in 551 b. c, 
Confucius founded the religion which bears 
his name. At first Heaven was its deity, but 
now the founder is more often so regarded. 
Confucianism is to China what Shintoism 
is to Japan, only more so. It counts two 
hundred and fifty million adherents, being 
outnumbered only by Christianity. Its 
sacred writings, the famous Classics, have 
been for ages the basis of Chinese educa- 
tion and have molded the people's char- 
[172] 



Religious Unity 



acter unmistakably. It is known perhaps 
most appropriately as the religion of 
social propriety, and its most character- 
istic teaching is that human nature must 
be essentially good, as being divinely im- 
planted. 

Christianity arose in 4 b. c, and is 
numerically the strongest religion in the 
world, counting about one-third the race 
or six hundred million in its three great 
branches of the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, 
and Protestant churches. The Scriptures 
of the Old and New Testaments constitute 
its Bible. The world is its field, even as 
Jesus, its Founder, declared it should be, 
and it is more zealously missionary to-day 
than at any time during the past fifteen 
hundred years. It is the religion of the 
love of God and the love of man as revealed 
in its Founder. It aims to become universal 
in the earth. We shall examine its fitness 
to meet this claim more fully. 

In the sixth century, or to be exact in 
570 a. d., Mohammed founded the religion 
[173] 



Youth and Truth 



of the Moslem countries, with the Koran as 
its Bible, and Allah as its deity. Mo- 
hammedanism is a violently missionary re- 
ligion and now counts two hundred and 
thirty million adherents. Its symbol is the 
Crescent, in contrast with the Cross of 
Christianity. It is the religion of submis- 
sion to the world-potentate, the Omnip- 
otent God, who is not only sovereign, but 
also judge and rewarder of His subjects. 
Mohammedanism began in conscious op- 
position to Christianity, and is a strange 
mixture of Hebrew characters with the 
prophet's own ideas and interpretations. 
Its monotheism, its most characteristic 
teaching, it inherited from Judaism, and 
so it has not added a new idea to the re- 
ligious conceptions of mankind. But for 
the crude and revolting tritheism of the 
Syrian Christians whom Mohammed knew 
intimately, it is doubtful if this arch- 
contestant with Christianity for the uni- 
versal homage of men's hearts would ever 
have come into existence. John 14: 16 and 
[174] 



Religious Unity 



16: 7, 12-14 Mohammed interpreted to be 
a literal prediction by Christ Himself of 
Mohammed's coming. 

The youngest of the religions is Sikhism, 
founded in 1469 a. d. by Nanak and con- 
fined to the land of its origin, India. It has 
the Granth as its scripture and worships 
God as the True Name. Three million per- 
sons accept its teachings. Sikhism origi- 
nated as an effort to harmonize Hinduism 
and Mohammedanism. It is known as the 
religion of the disciples of the one true 
God, and the chief religious duty it en- 
joins is active discipleship in His name. 

An examination of these religions re- 
veals something of permanent value in 
each of them, which evidences the sound- 
ness of the position that God did speak 
to their founders, though they also con- 
tain many things of doubtful authenticity. 
The universal religion will need and will 
have in it affirmation of the immanence of 
God which Hinduism especially teaches. 
The universal religion will also accept 
[175] 



Youth and Truth 



Jainism's self-renunciation as a condition 
of salvation, Buddhism's teaching of self- 
ishness as the cause of misery and of re- 
lief from suffering through inner purity, 
and Sikhism's demand for discipleship of 
the One True God with trust in His name. 
It will also include Confucianism's belief 
in the essential goodness of human nature 
as divinely implanted, Taoism's behest to 
walk in the divine way, with Shintoism's 
recognition of nature as a beautiful divine 
creation. Judaism's affirmation of obedi- 
ence to the God of righteousness as the 
sure means of complete satisfaction, the 
universal religion will undoubtedly accept. 
The conflict of good with evil forces and 
the belief that cosmic righteousness aids 
the good in this conflict, which is Zoroas- 
trianism's chief and fundamental contri- 
bution to religious conception, the univer- 
sal religion will incorporate in its creed. 
And though Mohammedanism has sup- 
plied mankind with no new religious idea, 
its unrelenting insistence on monotheism 
[176] 



Religious Unity 



and on man's duty to submit to the omnip- 
otent God as being the means of super- 
lative satisfaction, the universal religion 
will accept as its own. 

But every one of these ideas is part and 
parcel of Christianity. Everything there- 
fore that is of permanent and abiding 
value for the spiritual aspiration of the 
race is revealed to us in Christianity and 
is heightened and glorified in its setting 
there. Every great soul-stirring utterance, 
passage, message, or truth of the Bibles 
of these other religions is paralleled in the 
Bible and as nobly expressed there, if not, 
as the almost unanimous verdict has it, 
more nobly expressed there. It would ap- 
pear that Christianity has vindicated its 
claim to be the all-inclusive revelation for 
all the religions of the world, that it in- 
cludes within its teachings all that is really 
God's truth in each and every one of them. 

But Christianity can go further than 
that and claim that its teaching as to the 
great issues of life, for the solution of 
[177] 



Youth and Truth 



which men's hearts have cried out in every 
age and land, is not only the most satisfy- 
ing the world has yet received, but is so 
completely satisfying that it can reason- 
ably be said to be final and ultimate in 
concept, but requiring the unfolding ex- 
perience of man to comprehend it in all 
its joyous beauties and varied interpreta- 
tions. A brief examination of these vital is- 
sues will be convincing. We need not study 
them in all these living religions, but only 
in the three that are missionary. The one 
of these three that shall best answer for us 
the questions as to God, as to man, as to 
the world, and as to destiny, fundamentals 
as we have seen in any satisfying creed, 
may reasonably claim for itself the right 
to be accepted as the universally satisfy- 
ing religion of the world. These three 
missionary religions are Buddhism, Mo- 
hammedanism, and Christianity. We will 
examine their teachings relative to these 
four great questions. 

Our examination ought to show that the 
[178] 



Religious Unity 



Christian religion is able to answer these 
issues best, and that it is therefore destined 
as the universal religion to redeem man- 
kind. Its conception of God as our loving 
spiritual Father satisfies the deep heart- 
hunger of the soul for a unifying prin- 
ciple that shall be all-inclusive in the 
spiritual realm. The Mohammedan con- 
ception of God as arbitrary and partial in 
His dealings and relations with men ap- 
pals and repels us. The Buddhistic con- 
ception of Him as spiritual force, and as 
untouched by our life, its infirmities, or its 
achievements, fails to quicken us to noble 
action. But our Christian view of Him as 
present in His world, as vitally concerned 
in the consequences of our conduct, as 
grieved when we sin, as rejoiced when we 
achieve victories for His cause* as in every 
instance loving us no matter how far we 
stray from His ideal way, such a concep- 
tion wins the hearty assent of all men 
everywhere. The Christian God is the kind 
of God the world needs. We rejoice that 
[179] 



Youth cmd Truth 



our religion is privileged to make Him 
known to all mankind. We are confident 
men will love Him when they know Him as 
He is. For such a loving spiritual Father 
we are inwardly moved to undertake any 
conceivable task. Nothing is too high 
which His followers feel He wishes them 
to undertake, and nothing too menial. 

The Christian conception of man too 
satisfies the universal yearning for a uni- 
fying force, capable of welding the races 
of men into a social solidarity that shall 
end strife and enthrone peace and right- 
eousness and good-will as the ruling pas- 
sions of men's hearts. The Mohammedan 
religion debases man into a plaything in 
the hands of Deity. Buddhism holds be- 
fore him the enervating absorption into 
Nirvana wherein personality is regarded 
as the chief of evils. Our Christian re- 
ligion regards man as the child of God, as 
the object of His loving solicitude, and as 
brother to every other man. Spiritual 
Fatherhood and Spiritual Brotherhood 
[180] 



Religious Unity 



are the obverse and the reverse of the same 
great conception. As brothers, so teaches 
our Christian faith, we must do all that 
becomes brothers, such brothers as the 
children of a loving spiritual Father 
should be. How puny and pitiful appear 
the quarrels and jealousies of men one for 
another in the glorious illumination of this 
conception of Brotherhood! Christian 
Brotherhood ! — what infinite possibilities it 
offers us to exemplify the tender affections 
of the family life in all the experiences of 
living! Such conception of man as Chris- 
tianity teaches satisfies the noblest long- 
ings of the heart. It honors man as the 
child of God, and it honors God as the 
Father of man. 

In its conception of the world our Chris- 
tian religion takes sharp issue with the two 
other missionary religions of the world. 
They both agree in conceiving the world 
as something vile and essentially evil. The 
Buddhist would escape from its pollution. 
The Mohammedan would use it as a means 
[181] 



Youth and Truth 



of sensuous enjoyment. Our religion re- 
gards it as the handiwork of God, as 
eminently serviceable to the life and 
growth, even the spiritual life and growth 
of men, as essentially good, as a challenge 
to men to transform it wherein it is lack- 
ing, as the arena of action wherein is 
eventually to be realized the democracy of 
God. We are commanded to subdue the 
world and to replenish it. The Christian 
view further conceives of God as pleased 
when the world and its forces are made 
more serviceable to the life of man. The 
world of the Christian can therefore be no 
static world. Progress and achievement 
must be characteristic of it. They have 
been characteristic of it and will continue 
to be, world without end. 

But religion has also to do with destiny. 
To what end are all these conceptions to 
converge, and wherein is their fulfilment to 
be found? We must satisfy the cry of the 
human heart here or we shall miserably 
fail. The world's religions have answered 
[182] 



Religious Unity 



the question, but in their answers there 
has been a marvelous divergence of con- 
ception and a marvelous disparity of satis- 
faction. The Mohammedan believes in a 
sensuous continuation of the life that now 
is, with all the passion and partiality that 
their God is even now conceived as practis- 
ing and as delighting in. The Buddhist 
hopes to attain to the state of complete 
bliss, of endless nothingness, incorporation 
into Nirvana, the all-soul of unconscious 
spirituality. The Christian looks forward 
to an endless growth in spiritual concept 
and power, untrammeled by physical 
limitations, to a spiritual life begun on 
earth, never ending and with infinite chal- 
lenges to progress, wherein he shall be 
satisfied because he shall see God as He is 
and grow constantly more and more like 
Him. For the Christian there is no break 
between the spiritual life of earthly expe- 
rience and the spiritual life of heavenly 
bliss. The spiritual life we initiate here 
ripens and fruits into completeness of 
[183] 



Youth and Truth 



realization as the years of eternity shall 
unfold. This conception satisfies. The 
heart of man assents and the spirit of man 
rejoices in the prospect of such a destiny, 
a destiny justifying God in the creation of 
man and the world, a destiny worthy of the 
sons of God. 

We have in Christianity, in addition to 
these splendid teachings, the wholly orig- 
inal concept of the Holy Spirit, or God 
active in His world and speaking to His 
children. The Holy Spirit will eventually 
succeed in bringing the minds and hearts 
of all men into complete unity with God 
and His truth in every realm of experience 
and fact, and so also into unity with each 
other and therefore necessarily into a 
unity of religious concept and expression. 
A universal religion is the goal of the Holy 
Spirit, the active spiritual principle in 
men's hearts leading them into all truth. 
When the universal religion is fully come, 
it will be the achievement of the Holy 
Spirit. This teaching is not only a dis- 
[184] 



Religious Unity 



tinctive characteristic of the Christian re- 
ligion, but it is absolutely necessary if re- 
ligion is to be freed from the tyranny of 
religious cranks and fanatics and false 
prophets. 

For these solid reasons therefore we may 
reaffirm our confidence that Christianity is 
fitted to become the universal religion of 
mankind. Either of these reasons would 
make a strong presumption for the re- 
ligion that could rightfully lay claim to it. 
The possession of both of them makes the 
claim of Christianity practically incon- 
testable. The fact that Christianity in- 
cludes all the ideas of permanent and abid- 
ing value in each of the other living re- 
ligions, and the further fact that it answers 
satisfyingly the great religious issues of 
the ages, entitle us to accept it as the uni- 
versal religion, the religion that shall 
ultimately number all the men and women 
and children of the world in its ranks, that 
shall reconcile man to God and God to 
man in a perfected social order to which 
[185] 



Youth and Truth 



we may give the name, the Kingdom of 
God. The demand for unity in religious 
concept is thus fully met in Christianity, 
and the promise of its ultimate realization 
is guaranteed by the Christian teaching 
as to the presence and work of the Holy 
Spirit. 

A United Christendom Needed. — But 
what of the sects ? The present divided and 
competing situation of the Christian 
Church does not satisfy the heart of youth. 
Denominationalism cannot justify its 
presence quite so well as these living re- 
ligions could justify theirs. They can 
claim that they are earnest efforts to un- 
derstand the mind of God for man and to 
discover His truth. But denominational- 
ism must confess that it has sectarianized 
the finest revelation of God's truth the 
world has ever known or dreamed of. 
These living religions are partial because 
their founders were unable to comprehend 
the whole spiritual truth of God. Denomi- 
nationalism is likewise partial, but for a 
[186] 



Religious Unity 



far different reason. The founders of the 
sects in Christianity were unwilling to ac- 
cept all God's spiritual truth, and so they 
built fences around sections of it. John 
R. Mott has boldly said that the organic 
sin of the Church to-day is its disunion, 
and that a heathen world is the price we 
pay for a divided Christendom. We need 
a League of Nations assuredly, but we 
need most of all a League of Churches. 
The nations of the world must disarm, but 
the denominations must disarm too. De- 
nominational disarmanent is a crying need 
of the hour. The youth of the Church are 
for union, for Christian union, because 
their hearts tell them that unity must 
characterize every cause that hopes to con- 
tinue permanently in the ministry of life, 
and because their Master prayed for the 
oneness of His followers. Anything He 
prayed for they are willing to accept as 
desirable and necessary for the coming of 
His Kingdom. Christian youth are solid 
for Christian Union. 

[187] 



Youth and Truth 



Aside from the cooperative and inter- 
denominational agencies and organiza- 
tions, such as the Federal Council of 
Churches of Christ in America, the Inter- 
national Council of Religious Education, 
the Council of Church Boards of Educa- 
tion, the Home Missions Council, and 
many others, which some think tend to in- 
trench the denominations more firmly in 
their historic positions and separateness by 
furnishing a sort of lubricant for the in- 
excusable frictions of sectarianism that 
would otherwise inevitably arise, there are 
many signs stimulating hope for Christian 
Union. 

There has recently been printed by the 
Oxford University Press for the Rev. G. 
K. A. Bell, Dean of Canterbury, a book 
that treats the problem of Christian Union 
for the years 1920-24) from the documen- 
tary standpoint, and there are ninety of 
these documents, itself an impressive fact. 
All these documents have originated since 
the World War, and all but three of them 
[188] 



Religious Unity 



have originated since 1920. Being an 
Anglican, the author naturally is inter- 
ested in the documents that have grown 
for the most part out of the Lambeth Con- 
ference of 1920. "Faith and Order," he 
thinks, are the hope of a reunited Chris- 
tendom. In the World Conference on Faith 
and Order to be held in August in Lau- 
sanne, there will be five hundred delegates 
present representing one hundred differ- 
ent communions. Bishop Brent will pre- 
side, and great hope is entertained for 
the result of this most significant assembly. 
The church divided over these two issues, 
and we have a long way to go to unite them 
on these bases, but there is encouragement 
in the fact that the issues involved are to 
be fully and fraternally faced. The further 
fact that ninety documents in five years 
should spring forth with this idea in mind 
is heartening to the youth of our day who 
are tremendously interested in Christian 
Union as a hopeful means of promoting 
the religious progress of mankind. 
[189] 



Youth and Truth 



Christian Union is being approached 
from the Federal viewpoint in our coun- 
try. On February 6, 1920, the American 
Council on Organic Union of Churches of 
Christ adopted its "Plan of Union." This 
plan guaranteed autonomy in purely de- 
nominational affairs and provided a 
Council with four specific functions as fol- 
lows: 

(a) The Council shall harmonize and unify 
the work of the United Churches. 

(b) It shall direct such consolidation of their 
missionary activities as well as of particular 
Churches in over-Churched areas as is conso- 
nant with the law of the land or of the particu- 
lar denomination affected. Such consolidation 
may be progressively achieved, as by the unit- 
ing of the boards or Churches of any two or 
more constituent denominations, or may be ac- 
celerated, delayed, or dispensed with, as the 
interests of the Kingdom of God may require. 

(c) If and when any two or more consti- 
tuent Churches, by their supreme governing or 
advisory bodies, submit to the Council for its 

[190] 



Religious Unity 



arbitrament any matter of mutual concern, not 
hereby already covered, the Council shall con- 
sider and pass upon such matter so submitted. 

(d) The Council shall undertake inspira- 
tional and educational leadership of such sort 
and measure as may be proper, under the powers 
delegated to it by the constituent Churches in 
the fields of Evangelism, Social Service, Re- 
ligious Education, and the like. 

Eighteen denominations through ac- 
credited representatives assisted in the 
working out and indorsement of this plan. 
The collapse of the Interchurch World 
Movement cast a damper over the whole 
program, and it fell into a state of 
quiescence. Interest, however, has again 
revived in it, and action has been taken 
by the National Council of Congrega- 
tional Churches approving the plan in sub- 
stance. Dr. Rufus W. Miller, of 409 
Schaff Building, Philadelphia, will furnish 
any one with the printed plan and with 
other literature bearing on the situation. 

Still another point of approach is that 
[191] 



Youth and Truth 



of the Universal Conference on Life and 
Work, which held a world gathering at 
Stockholm in August, 1925. The "Faith 
and Order" adherents tried to get this 
"Life and Work" contingent to meet in 
joint session. They very wisely refused, 
saying that their idea of the proper 
method of approach to the problem of 
Christian Union was so radically different 
from that of the "Faith and Order" view- 
point that the purpose of neither could be 
realized by a joint conference at this stage 
in the discussion of Christian Union. 
There are, however, some who adhere to 
both ideas. The "Life and Work" Move- 
ment is therefore placed by Dr. Bell in his 
book in the appendix as not being in favor 
of Christian Union, since it does not ac- 
cept the attitudes of the Lambeth Con- 
ference. When Christians, however, learn 
to work together, they will see the folly 
absolutely of dwelling in partitioned-off 
camps and compartments. 

In Canada, the Presbyterian, Methodist, 
[192] 



Religious Unity 



and Congregational churches have united. 
This union became effective June 10, 1925. 
In the United States the Methodist 
Episcopal Church and the M. E. Church, 
South, are working hard for union now. 
The Lutheran Churches of the United 
States have come together in a splendid 
way. The Christian Church has held 
parleys with the Congregationalists, the 
Disciples, and the Free Will Baptists. 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists, 
Presbyterians and the Reformed churches 
are trying to unite. Other parleys or con- 
ferences are contemplated. Christian Union 
in the mission lands is in many places an 
accomplished fact. The Christian Union 
Quarterly published at Baltimore, gives 
every one who has a message on Christian 
Union an open forum for the expression 
of his opinion. The Federal Council of 
Churches of Christ in America is teaching 
Christians of more than thirty denomina- 
tions to work together, and while it of- 
ficially denies its aim to be Christian Union 
[193] 



Youth and Truth 



and sedulously excludes the subject from 
its programs, findings, plans, and utter- 
ances, yet as a by-product of its efforts 
it is rendering service on behalf of a 
reunited Christendom. Eventually the 
prayer of Jesus for the oneness of His 
followers must be realized. Our present- 
day youth owe to the world and to God a 
solemn and sacred service in promoting the 
cause of Christian Union, a cause so near 
and dear to the heart of Jesus. That they 
will respond Memphis and Evanston 
testify eloquently. 



[194] 



CHAPTER IX 



THE PLACE OF LAW 

,UR youth, we have said, is restless 



under restraint. Authority is dis- 
tasteful. Law some regard seemingly as 
the necessary antipode of liberty, while 
freedom increasingly tends to become 
license for not a few. The late President 
Harding in taking the oath of office made 
reference in his inaugural address to "lib- 
erty under the law," the natural inference 
of which for many is that law impedes 
liberty. Many college students have the 
idea that college regulations are an inter- 
ference with the personal liberties of stu- 
dents, as something to be endured for the 
sake of the coveted goal of a college de- 
gree, and as something to be escaped from 
as soon as possible. The hour of their ab- 




[195] 



Youth and Truth 



solution will appear when they are gradu- 
ated into the free society of their elders, 
they repeatedly and expectantly assure 
themselves. 

But our youth who hold this view are 
destined to be suddenly disillusioned. Our 
local, State, and national governments 
each have laws which must be obeyed. 
Society has its customs and conventions 
enforced by the stern pressure of public 
opinion. Social ostracism is the severest 
penalty conceivable, unless it be the out- 
lawry applied to a man who has violated 
the ethical standards of his profession or 
business. Law, custom, convention, ethical 
standards, confront us on every hand. 
There is no escape from their presence. 
The network of legal requirements in some 
form is as universal as the law of gravity. 
Savages have no laws, but the more ad- 
vanced a people are in civilization and 
culture, the more numerous are their laws. 
Simple life requires few laws, but highly 
organized life functions always through a 
[196] 



The Place of Law 



correspondingly intricate legal system. 
We have no international law in the strict 
sense, our best jurists tell us, and that is 
why the world is cursed by periodic wars. 
Every game must have its rules. The great- 
est game is life. The rules of its game we 
style law, custom, convention, professional 
ethics. Lawmakers are not the enemies of 
our life. They are its friends. Sooner or 
later we will come to this conclusion, the 
sooner the better. Law is what experience 
suggests as helpful to life enacted into 
statute. Custom, convention, professional 
ethics, are embryonic laws. They may or 
may not become statutes. 

The Apostle Paul declared the Mosaic 
law to be a schoolmaster to prepare those 
who obeyed its precepts for the larger law 
of love in Christ. Jesus Himself invited 
those who listened to His matchless teach- 
ings to take the yoke of obedience upon 
them, promising them rest for their souls. 
The yoke is not a burden to the ox, but a 
lightener of burdens. An ox with a yoke 
[197] 



Youth and Truth 



will do far more work and with far less 
exertion than a yokeless ox. "My yoke is 
easy and my burden is light," says our 
Master in His invitation to come to Him. 

It is even so with the law. There is no 
opposition between liberty and law. It is 
not even as President Harding said, lib- 
erty under the law. It is liberty through 
the law, because of the law. Law increases 
rather than limits human freedom. The 
society with the most laws always enjoys 
the largest liberty. The absence of law 
means the breakdown of liberty, a social 
order in which every man must look out 
for his own interests, and wherein no man 
would be free to pursue a consistent course 
of conduct. 

Take a simple illustration from the 
realm of custom. We in America have de- 
cided to keep to the right on our highways. 
It would have been just as reasonable to 
keep to the left, as in England. But sup- 
pose custom had not decided this matter 
lor us, leaving each individual in every in- 
[198] 



The Place of Law 



stance of meeting" and passing to decide 
whether he will go to the right or to the 
left. How many miles could we, under such 
uncertainty, travel in an hour? And how 
many accidents would we have? In cities 
it has been found necessary to make cer- 
tain streets one-way streets and to halt 
all traffic at intervals on certain other con- 
gested streets. Motorists know that these 
traffic regulations do not impede travel, 
but that they rather facilitate it and at 
the same time make it safe. 

Take a further illustration of a legal 
character. The law forbids theft and 
obligates the whole people to protect every 
man in the possession and enjoyment of his 
property. Suppose we had no such law. 
A man could own only so much property as 
he could protect with a gun, and he could 
not enjoy that for fear it would be taken 
from him. But protected by the strong 
arm of the law, he can lie down and rest 
at night and in his working hours can de- 
vote himself whole-heartedly to honorable 

[199] 



Youth cmd Truth 



and serviceable pursuits. The law makes 
freedom possible for men, and so do cus- 
tom, convention, and the professional 
ethical standards. Being always blessed by 
law and custom in the service of life, we 
can never fully appreciate their blessing 
and boon to us. 

But this freedom is never an end in it- 
self. It is itself a yoke. It is meant to be 
used for desirable ends. Freedom is not 
emptiness. It is related life. If there were 
only one person in the world, there would 
be no freedom. Liberty is a social concept 
and also a social product. It grows and 
increases as our contacts and relationships 
with other lives multiply. Freedom must 
have motive. It must be directed toward 
the realization of certain objectives, and 
these objectives need to be worthy of the 
freedom that suggested them as goals of 
endeavor. It is here that religion renders 
a splendid service to man, religion which 
summates all the good of all law, all 
custom, all convention, all professional 
[200] 



The Place of Law 



ethical standards, and gives them universal 
and abiding sanction by relating them to 
God. 

The moral man is a law unto himself. 
He is spiritually uncivilized. Perhaps it 
would be apter to say he is dissocialized. 
The moral man has no objective standard 
of right living around which he may or- 
ganize his life. But the religious man is 
possessed of a larger, ampler freedom. 
He has a standard outside himself, around 
which and in terms of which he may or- 
ganize his life, and motivate and activate 
his conduct. That objective standard is 
the will of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, 
and as constantly interpreted to him as 
duty by the Holy Spirit. Religious law, 
conceived as the will of God for the in- 
dividual man, guarantees the largest free- 
dom; and the more completely and earn- 
estly Christian a man is, the freer he is in 
all the relations of life. The uninitiated, 
the inexperienced, do not so understand it. 
You can never understand Christian free- 
[201] 



Youth cmd Truth 



dom by looking on from the outside. 

For the youth who observes and studies 
Christianity from the outside there is a 
feeling that the Christian life circum- 
scribes the liberty of a man, but there is 
no foundation in experience to warrant 
such a conclusion. Just as law guarantees 
freedom and enlarges it, so does religion 
make for largeness and fullness of life. 
But the Christian religion does transform 
life. It does modify the desires and aspira- 
tions of the heart. It does to all practical 
purposes make the youth who professes it 
a new creature, so that the things he once 
hated and regarded as burdens unworthy 
to be borne he now loves and accepts as 
opportunities to be seized for the profitable 
investment of his life and talent, and in 
the midst of this transformation he expe- 
riences a rebirth into a larger, a more in- 
viting and satisfying freedom. The liberty 
wherewith Christ makes free is no high- 
sounding phrase, but a blessed reality re- 
joicing the heart of all who have expe- 
[202] 



The Place of Law 



rienced it. Herein lies Christianity's chief 
glory. 

Christians enjoy this larger freedom 
because of the law of love, love of God and 
love of brother man, which they acknowl- 
edge as operative in every realm of their 
experience. Christians are free to choose 
their courses of conduct, but love leads 
them to choose the things that are con- 
sistent with the will and way of Christ, and 
for them that memorable saying of 
Browning has a deep and imperative mean- 
ing: "All's love, yet all's law." Christian- 
ity's law of love is for Christians the evi- 
dence and the substance of freedom and 
liberty, a freedom and a liberty that abide 
forever because they have enduring foun- 
dations. 

A distinguished theologian has recently 
raised the question of God's limitation. "Is 
God limited?" queries Bishop McConnell. 
Is God subject to law? And is that sub- 
jection to law evidence that He is not 
possessed of perfect freedom? We have 
[203] 



Youth and Truth 



seen that law does not impede our own 
free action, but rather amplifies it. We 
have also seen that religion is not a shackle 
on the spirit of man, but rather a spur to 
noble living. God is limited by the inherent 
goodness of His nature. He is perfectly 
free to do wrong, but His moral fullness 
intervenes. His freedom is therefore not 
abridged by the law of His own loving 
nature and personality. With Him and 
with us, the love to which He is inherently 
obligated does not deprive Him of per- 
fect and absolute liberty of action and 
freedom of choice. It is not that God can- 
not sin, but He will not sin. The law of 
His own loving nature is therefore no limi- 
tation on His perfect freedom. 

We have dared to carry our discussion 
to the ultimate realm in its implication. 
We have done so reverently and, let us 
hope, profitably. The will of God, it there- 
fore appears, is not something thrust upon 
humanity and which necessarily must limit 
our freedom of choice and liberty of con- 
[204] 



The Place of Law 



science and action. The will of God does 
not deprive us of anything, but it im- 
measurably adds to our freedom. The law 
of love, which is the will of God for men, 
when operative in every realm of our hu- 
man experience, becomes the law of life, 
and it makes living a constant joy, a grow- 
ing satisfaction. The Christian knows this 
and rejoices in it. 

We who are young are challenged on 
the very threshold of our life to exercise 
our freedom of choice in deciding not only 
what line of work we will enter upon, but 
equally and more essentially the spirit in 
which we will undertake this work. We 
will find that there are two systems of law 
bidding for our adherence, the law of 
selfishness and the law of unselfishness, 
both offering us freedom, both seeking our 
allegiance. A closer examination, how- 
ever, will reveal the fact that experience 
has discredited the law of selfishness. Men 
have learned that its liberty is a sham 
affair. Our youth makes it easy for us to 
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Youth and Truth 



understand the undoubted value of al- 
truistic, unselfish service. But we are never- 
theless free to choose. 

Wise is he who chooses unselfishness as 
the law of his life and who fashions the 
edifice of his character in terms of Chris- 
tion love, the law of life that guarantees 
perfect freedom, the noblest passion too 
that can stir the aspirations of man's 
inner nature, the only passion of which 
we can never have occasion to feel ashamed. 
This choice will bring our youth into 
harmonious relationship with the will of 
God, and in the progressive realization of 
that will not only shall they find their 
deepest joy but their amplest freedom. 

Christian liberty is guaranteed youth 
through obedience to Christian law, God's 
law of love. Without law there can be no 
true liberty. Because of the Christian law 
of love, through this law and not under it 
or in spite of it, we have the joys of the 
satisfying liberty of the sons and daugh- 
ters of God. So does the law in every realm 
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The Place of Law 



of our life and experience bring us aid, 
multiply our successes, and vouchsafe us 
true and abiding freedom. Happy the 
youth that comprehends and incorporates 
this truth in the attitudes of his heart and 
life, who wisely senses the place of law in 
the organization and conduct of man and 
of the social order. 



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CHAPTER X 



A GROWING FAITH 

'HP HE faith once delivered to the saints" 
A has grown much during the past 
twenty centuries. It is not full-grown yet. 
Genuine Christian faith requires progress 
in understanding God's will and purpose 
and design in the world He made. Static 
religions die. Dynamic religions give life, 
more abundant life. Such the Founder of 
the Christian religion announced the pur- 
pose of His advent to have been. Reverent 
disciples took Him at His word, and be- 
hold the achievements God-ward they have 
wrought ! 

Jesus recognized what one day all of 
us will likewise recognize, that every truth 
must necessarily be conditioned by the cir- 
cumstances attending its enunciation. We 
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understand gravity to-day better than 
Newton did. A generation from now rel- 
ativity will be better comprehended than 
to-day. If we do not understand Chris- 
tianity better to-day than the early 
Church did, then the Holy Spirit has 
failed of His mission. Jesus declared the 
Comforter, the Holy Spirit, would lead 
us into all truth. He also plainly told His 
disciples that He had certain things to 
tell them which they could not then bear, 
and that they should do greater things 
than He had Himself done. The record of 
Christian thought and progress demon- 
strates His wisdom. Nothing is said in the 
New Testament about the Trinity, much 
less about the Triunity of God. Yet we ac- 
cept and rejoice in both doctrines to-day. 
The Holy Spirit has taught them to us. 
The social gospel is not expounded but 
merely suggested in the teachings of the 
Master. He nowhere condemns slavery, yet 
His Church has abolished it ; and that same 
Church, despite Paul's estimate of woman's 
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Youth cmd Truth 



status, is fast securing for women their 
inherent rights. There has been growth 
and development both in doctrine and in 
social achievement since the Ascension. 
Both will continue. 

Our day has been especially rich in its 
enlarging conceptions of the Christian 
program, both as to its extension and as 
to its inclusiveness. Ours is the day of 
world-wide missionary propaganda and of 
deepening spiritual insight. Gigantic as 
our missionary enterprise has become, chal- 
lenging as it is to all the stirring senti- 
ments of Christian brotherhood, it is 
matched by incisive insight into the real, 
compelling significance of Christ's teach- 
ings as to their width, their height, their 
depth, their breadth, their vast inclusive- 
ness. Religion in the Christian view has 
become to us, in this good day, not a seg- 
ment of life, but its circle; and its min- 
istry is not confined to certain times, 
places, or purposes, but includes the uplift 
of the whole life. We are not able longer 
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to think of the church as ministering 
simply to the spiritual life separately and 
narrowly defined, but as serving every in- 
terest promotive of human well-being, 
teaching men how to pray and pay and 
play, with no apology for incarnating 
its presence in any realm of experience. 
This is the leaven that shall leaven the 
whole. This is God present in His world, 
patiently, lovingly leading His children 
into ever closer fellowship with Him, to an 
ampler expression of His attitude toward 
and hope for them. This new conception 
touches every Christian doctrine with new 
appealing charm, makes it vibrate with the 
warmth of affectionate personality. It en- 
larges our every conception of God's will 
and plan and purpose and design in His 
relation to men. In such a growing faith 
every youth will find a challenge to his 
highest and holiest aspirations. 

1. Salvation. — The conception of sal- 
vation has certainly been enlarged in our 
day. The historic, traditional view is that 
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Youth and Truth 



it is a purely personal matter and con- 
cerned primarily with a future state. Sal- 
vation is personal, and it does bear upon 
the preservation of the soul in the life to 
come. But this is not its entire content. 

Salvation is for this world too. If the 
Christian religion cannot add to the value 
of this present life, it is sadly deficient in 
its ministry. This world is no "vale of 
tears." It is God's world, the best He could 
make it, and He pronounced it good. Re- 
ligion is other-worldliness, but it is of this 
world too. Even should there be no future 
estate, the salvation of the Christian faith 
with its splendid idealism would be un- 
qualifiedly worth while for this present life. 
What the green pastures and the still 
waters were to the sheep of Palestine, the 
salvation of the Christian religion is to 
the sincere adherent of the faith in this 
present life. 

And likewise salvation of the Christian 
type is more than personal. Its funda- 
mental concept is Brotherhood, and its 
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A Growing Faith 



fundamental obligation is sharing the 
good we have with others. Of necessity 
therefore it is social. We are our brother's 
keeper; we are members one of another; 
we must, out of respect to the organic 
Christian principle of life, bear one an- 
other's burdens. There is no selfishness in 
Christian salvation, and so there can be 
no self-salvation alone. We must be saved 
together, or we will all likewise perish. The 
Christian faith would die of inanition, were 
its missionary impulse to cease. The sweet- 
est satisfaction of the Christian life is to 
lead some one else to experience the joys 
of the salvation which has enriched our 
own heart. 

But it is more even than this. The salva- 
tion of the social order, of the institutions 
that minister to men in all the relations of 
their life, is also essentially a part of the 
Kingdom's program of world-redemption. 
Religion has a message for the press, for 
industry, for labor-unions, for the social 
life, for the theater and other forms of 
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Youth and Truth 



amusement, for political parties, for the 
nations. There is no organization or in- 
stitution wherein its voice may not prop- 
erly be heard with saving influence. The 
environment of life tends tremendously to 
uplift or to pull down character. We must 
make the social order Christian or it will 
paganize us. The Christianizing of the 
social order is no idle dream; it is a grim 
necessity, and the Kingdom can never 
come till it is accomplished. Such is the 
concept of salvation in our day. Whole- 
heartedly does youth embrace it as ex- 
emplifying that unity for which its quest 
is ceaseless. 

2. Service. — The conception of service 
too has been enlarged. For the most part 
our efforts have been heretofore con- 
sumed in keeping the intricate, com- 
plicated, duplicating machinery of the 
Church alive. Our Christian activity has 
oftentimes kept us from real Christian 
service. We have fallen into the habit of 
referring to singing, praying, testifying, 
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A Growing Faith 



and attendance on religious worship as 
divine services. We must rise to the point 
where we will look upon all service as di- 
vine. Life in all its aspects is the field of 
divine ministry. Service to the body is as 
assuredly Christian service as is a prayer- 
meeting. It was for the time being more so 
for the good Samaritan in his ministry to 
the wounded Jew. Preachers on their way 
to the pulpit and deacons to the pew may 
well consider whether they might not in- 
vest that hour to better advantage by 
cleaning up some known or suspected den 
of vice or in seeking to lead the youthful 
"rubber-necks" of the street-corners to a 
new ideal of life. Attendance on Church 
worship may make us worse men than we 
are, if we go merely for the satisfaction 
the service brings us and do not pass its 
benediction on to some one else. We think 
we have completed the circle of Christian 
duty when we have worshiped in the 
sanctuary. The success of the minister is 
rated by his drawing power. His real suc- 
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Youth and Truth 



cess is seen in his propelling power. When 
the pews in Wichita, Kansas, began to 
exhibit a falling off in attendance, it was 
a thing to rejoice over. The churches there 
were functioning. Their men, in deputa- 
tions of four each, to the number of sixty- 
eight such teams, were carrying the gospel 
to outlying rural and neglected city dis- 
tricts. 

Our new concept of Christian service too 
requires that it be life-wide in scope and 
constructive in purpose. We must minister 
to all life or see that it is ministered to. 
This will require three things : cooperation 
with agencies already on the field infusing 
them with the spirit of Christian idealism, 
the coordination of duplicating agencies 
in the Church itself so as to provide time 
and personnel for its increasing obliga- 
tions, and the creation of additional 
agencies in the Church to foster and pro- 
mote lines of service not now contemplated. 
The Church of the future will recognize 
her obligation to the social and recrea- 
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A Growing Faith 



tional aspects of life as well as to the nar- 
rowly mental, moral, and spiritual. Wher- 
ever her sons and daughters go, she too 
will go, not in a condescending spirit, but 
because it is right for her to minister to 
all their life. 

And her entrance into service of what- 
ever character will be constructive. It is 
well to amputate a blood-poisoned limb. 
Indeed such amputation is essential, but 
the good surgeon also administers med- 
icines to purify the blood of his patient. 
In this way is the disease eradicated. Just 
cleaning up life is inadequate. The Church 
has the divine commission to condemn evil 
in every place and form, but only on con- 
dition that she put good in the place of 
evil. The process is described in the Bible 
as overcoming evil with good, and this is 
the only way to do it. We must cease our 
mere scolding and meet the impulse to ac- 
tion in men with a constructive, positive 
program of things to take the place of the 
evils we aim to eliminate from life. The 
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Youth and Truth 



method of moral and spiritual growth is 
not through inaction and abstention, but 
through activity and investment in whole- 
some, helpful pursuits. The Church must 
recognize this and provide for it in her 
program of service to youth. 

3. Sacrifice. — "What doth the Lord re- 
quire of thee, but to do justly, and to love 
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" 
queried the prophet Micah. This was a 
splendid standard for that day. It marks 
the acme of Hebrew prophecy. But is this 
enough? Then why did Jesus come? And 
why that tragic enactment on Calvary? 
Micah's prescription was not enough. "To 
do justly" — an eye for an eye, a tooth for 
>a tooth — this is the law. The law is not 
ample; we must do more than seek justice 
and pursue it. The clamor for rights and 
justice produced the World War. Justice 
is the basic principle of life — but only the 
foundation. It is not its superstructure 
and cannot be. 

"To love mercy" — this is a great ad- 
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A Growing Faith 



vance step over "to do justly." According 
to this view we are to make of our lives the 
most magnificent successes possible, ac- 
cumulate all we can, and then be merciful 
to the unfortunate and the down and out. 
Nations, according to this view, would be 
justified in erecting barriers against the 
commerce of other nations and to use every 
means possible to build themselves up, and 
then to say to the rest of mankind: "We 
are sorry for your weakness and your 
poverty. We are glad to give you of our 
bounty. We cannot join your League of 
Nations nor wholly indorse your World 
Court, but we will contribute of our own 
abundance to your necessities, as occasion 
may arise. Wars will come. We will pre- 
pare for them. We shall be able to defend 
ourselves. So must you. Nations exist to 
get all the advantages possible for their 
own citizens. They are not responsible for 
other nations, except to be merciful to 
them if they can afford it." The prophet 
Micah's teaching permitted such a view. 
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Youth and Truth 



For we must not forget that the narrow- 
est nationalists of antiquity were the Jews 
to whom Micah spoke this message. They 
were arrogant, intolerant, clannishly self- 
ish. Yet they loved mercy. The American 
people can certainly profit by their blun- 
der. Nations must do more than "love 
mercy." 

"To walk humbly with thy God"— cer- 
tainly all of us need to recognize God and 
to acknowledge His supreme place in our 
lives. "Remember now thy Creator in the 
days of thy youth," urged a wise man. 
But religion is more than worshiping God. 
It has human relationships too, and these 
relationships are not satisfied in doing 
justice and loving mercy. Humility be- 
fore God is good, but it took the life and 
teaching of Jesus to reveal the complete 
excellency of the Christian way. He taught 
that loving sacrifice is the true test of 
discipleship. He made it plain to the 
lawyer who questioned Him that to love 
God with all the mind, soul, and strength 
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A Growing Faith 



and to love one's neighbor as one's self is 
not enough. He said that doing these 
things would put us "not far from the 
Kingdom." To put us actually in the 
Kingdom, He taught, we must love one 
another as He loved His disciples, even 
to the point of giving our lives for our 
brother man. Loving sacrifice — that is the 
way — not sacrifice alone, because we might 
give our bodies to be burned and yet not 
satisfy the requirements of Christian 
brotherhood. There must be love and will- 
ingness to sacrifice. Let us never forget it. 
It is sacrifice that brings us into fellow- 
ship with Him, sacrifice that takes its 
origin in love for Him and brother man. 
The Church must love men and be ready 
to sacrifice herself for their salvation, and 
we as individual Christians must exemplify 
the same sacrificial love in our personal 
lives. So must the nations live and act with 
reference to each other. We will bless the 
world and save and serve it, not in the 
success we achieve for ourselves as in- 
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Youth and Truth 



dividuals or as nations, but in the sacrifices 
we make in love on each other's behalf. 
Jesus is the best loved man Who ever lived 
because He gave Himself in loving sacri- 
fice as no other man ever did. So only will 
His Church and His followers win the 
world to Him. It is the magnitude of our 
sacrifice that indicates the extent of our 
soul-growth. Let us not spare to speak to 
the youth of our day that they go for- 
ward in loving sacrifice for the coming of 
the Kingdom of Christ, that they go for- 
ward in this grand crusade as individuals, 
as Churches, as nations. It is the command 
we need most of all to obey. 

In Conclusion. — Christian youth must 
pioneer in these splendid new conceptions. 
They will be persecuted and maligned for 
their espousal of them in many places. We 
cannot forget the torrent of fanatical 
criticism and abuse which was poured out 
upon the Y.M.C.A. a quarter of a century 
ago when it boldly declared its faith in a 
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A Growing Faith 



Christian ministry to the bodies of men 
through wholesome sport and the gym- 
nasium. The "Y" has taught us too what 
real service and sacrifice of self mean in 
its mammoth self-forgetfulness in the days 
of the recent holocaust. Through its mag- 
nificent achievements we see glimpses of 
what a united Protestanism may contribute 
to the redemption of the world. Certainly 
a Church that advocates these enlarged 
conceptions will be criticized, just in pro- 
portion to its vital contribution to the 
growth and development of Christian truth 
and faith. Littleness, bigotry, sectarian- 
ism, jealousy — these are always vocal. 
They hound the trail of every prophet, 
whether individual or institutional, but let 
it be remembered they are ever on the trail, 
ever in pursuit, and in their mad career 
of persecution they may get out of the 
narrow groove that confines their life and 
circumscribes their vision. Our youth can 
endure them therefore for their own sakes. 
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Youth and Truth 



Our youth, however, who have seen the 
light can only press forward in their 
splendid crusade, and the way grows 
brighter for them as the sun of progress 
ascends toward the zenith of a new, a 
glorious day, in which they shall serve 
God and brother man. A growing faith is 
the only guarantee of the unity of truth. 
To the realization of such a faith the high- 
souled youth of our time are summoned, 
summoned by the Holy Spirit, their leader 
in the quest for the unity of truth, their 
inspiration for the challenging tasks of 
the new era of righteousness and peace 
and love just now ready to dawn. May it 
dawn speedily, and may no clouds obscure 
the sun of its advancing day. 

I have confidence in youth. I believe they 
will progressively discover God's truth, 
and that they will, divinely led, interpret 
Christianity in terms of Christ and find it 
integrating itself at all points with God's 
truth, which must necessarily lead us to 
ultimate unity, a unity not on the level of 
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A Growing Faith 

the soil out of which material substances 
have their being, but on the level of the 
soul, that divine entity in which "we live 
and move and have our being." 



[225] 



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